Ancient Monuments

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Bown Hill long barrow 790m south east of Longwood Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Woodchester, Gloucestershire

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Latitude: 51.7146 / 51°42'52"N

Longitude: -2.2575 / 2°15'27"W

OS Eastings: 382302.421808

OS Northings: 201791.021112

OS Grid: SO823017

Mapcode National: GBR 1MX.D2L

Mapcode Global: VH953.T5DF

Entry Name: Bown Hill long barrow 790m south east of Longwood Farm

Scheduled Date: 30 August 1922

Last Amended: 24 November 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017085

English Heritage Legacy ID: 32389

County: Gloucestershire

Civil Parish: Woodchester

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Gloucestershire

Church of England Parish: Woodchester St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester


The monument includes a long barrow orientated approximately east-west on the
crest of a hill in the Cotswolds. It is visible as a barrow mound 56m long by
22m wide and ranging between 2m high at its western end to 4.5m high at its
eastern end. At the east end of the mound is a large depression measuring
approximately 12m by 9m, while in the centre of the mound is a second
depression about 8m wide, both of which are thought to have been due to the
partial excavation of the barrow in 1863. Two parallel ditches, from which
material was excavated during the construction of the barrow, lie on either
side of the barrow mound to the north and south. These ditches are no longer
visible at ground level, having become infilled over the years, but survive as
buried features about 3m wide.
The barrow was partially excavated by Dr Paine and Mr Witchell in 1863. At the
east end, between dry stone wall horns, was a megalithic portal which lead
straight into a rectangular burial chamber measuring 2.6m by 1.2m. The chamber
contained the remains of at least six individuals, animal bones and some
Neolithic pottery. Some Romano-British pottery and a coin of Germanicus
(struck approximately AD19) were also recovered.
The dry stone walls and wire fences which run immediately to the west and
north of the mound are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground
beneath them is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Long barrows were constructed as earthen or drystone mounds with flanking
ditches and acted as funerary monuments during the Early and Middle Neolithic
periods (3400-2400 BC). They represent the burial places of Britain's early
farming communities and, as such, are amongst the oldest field monuments
surviving visibly in the present landscape. Where investigated, long barrows
appear to have been used for communal burial, often with only parts of the
human remains having been selected for interment. Certain sites provide
evidence for several phases of funerary monument preceding the barrow and,
consequently, it is probable that long barrows acted as important ritual sites
for local communities over a considerable period of time. Some 500 examples of
long barrows and long cairns, their counterparts in the uplands, are recorded
nationally. As one of the few types of Neolithic structure to survive as
earthworks, and due to their comparative rarity, their considerable age and
their longevity as a monument type, all long barrows are considered to be
nationally important.

Bown Hill long barrow survives well, despite some disturbance from 19th
century excavations. The monument lies in an area of significant prehistoric
activity, with a number of long barrows and bowl barrows lying within a 1km
radius of the site, and a single bowl barrow lying 70m to the north west. The
barrow mound will contain evidence for stone chambers, burials and grave
goods, which will provide information about prehistoric funerary practices,
and about the size of the local community at that time. The mound will also
preserve environmental information in the buried original ground surface,
predating the construction of the barrow and giving an insight into the
landscape in which the monument was set. In addition, the mound and its
associated ditches will also contain archaeological information and
environmental evidence in the form of organic remains which will relate both
to the monument and the wider landscape.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
O`Neil, H E, Grinsell, L V, 'Proc of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Arch Soc' in Gloucestershire Barrows, , Vol. LXXIX, (1960), 95

Source: Historic England

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