Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Long barrow on Adlestrop Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Chastleton, Oxfordshire

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Latitude: 51.9524 / 51°57'8"N

Longitude: -1.6323 / 1°37'56"W

OS Eastings: 425365.618591

OS Northings: 228275.697289

OS Grid: SP253282

Mapcode National: GBR 5R4.G5B

Mapcode Global: VHBZ6.N6F4

Entry Name: Long barrow on Adlestrop Hill

Scheduled Date: 25 February 1948

Last Amended: 24 July 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018169

English Heritage Legacy ID: 31182

County: Oxfordshire

Civil Parish: Chastleton

Traditional County: Gloucestershire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Oxfordshire

Church of England Parish: Adlestrop

Church of England Diocese: Gloucester


The monument includes a long barrow, lying on a gentle south west facing slope
below the crest of Adlestrop Hill. The barrow has an oval mound 26m long,
orientated WSW-ENE, with a maximum width of 16m, although it now appears wider
due to plough distortion. It reaches a maximum height of 0.8m at the uphill,
eastern end and 1.5m at the downhill, western end. Traces of a quarry ditch
are still visible around the western end of the mound and will survive in
buried form, 4m wide, around the rest of the mound. At the east end of the
mound the tops of three upright stone slabs that formed sides of a burial
chamber are still visible. The barrow was partially excavated in 1935 and
1936 and then again, by Helen Donovan, in 1938. The excavations revealed the
sub-rectangular burial chamber at the eastern end together with the fragmented
remains of seven or eight inhumations. Professor Darvill has suggested that
the barrow, in common with other Cotswold-Severn tombs, formerly possessed a
forecourt at its eastern end.
To the east of the barrow and extending for approximately 400m north
west-south east are several large, grass covered, stone clearance heaps. These
are not included in the scheduling.

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.

The long barrow on Adlestrop Hill is an unusual example of its class of
monument and, despite some erosion from cultivation, it is known from partial
excavation to contain archaeological remains providing information about
Neolithic beliefs, economy and environment.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Darvill, T C, 'Vorda Research Series' in The Megalithic Chambered Tombs of the Cotswold-Severn Region, , Vol. 5, (1982), 9, 113

Source: Historic England

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