Ancient Monuments

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Long barrow and bowl barrow 430m north west of the Mendip Nature Research Station

A Scheduled Monument in St Cuthbert Out, Somerset

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Latitude: 51.2438 / 51°14'37"N

Longitude: -2.5946 / 2°35'40"W

OS Eastings: 358587.979209

OS Northings: 149575.411102

OS Grid: ST585495

Mapcode National: GBR MQ.1Y75

Mapcode Global: VH89L.ZZ5V

Entry Name: Long barrow and bowl barrow 430m north west of the Mendip Nature Research Station

Scheduled Date: 19 December 1929

Last Amended: 24 April 2002

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020548

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35303

County: Somerset

Civil Parish: St Cuthbert Out

Traditional County: Somerset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Somerset


The monument includes the largely levelled remains of a long barrow of
Neolithic date and a bowl barrow, believed to be of Late Neolithic to
Bronze Age date, located on a gentle south-facing slope at the eastern
edge of the Mendip Hills. The long barrow has an approximate east to west
orientation and is located just to the west of the bowl barrow.

The barrows have been disturbed in the past by cultivation which has
resulted in the spreading and near levelling of their mound material.
However, the mounds have previously been recorded as 29m long and 12m wide
with a height of 1.2m for the long barrow, and approximately 11m in
diameter and 0.6m high for the bowl barrow. The long barrow is flanked on
its north and south sides by ditches from which material was quarried for
the construction of the mound, and although these have become largely
infilled over the years, they will survive as buried features up to
approximately 3m wide. In common with other round barrows known locally
the bowl barrow is believed to be encircled by an associated, now
infilled, quarry ditch of about 2m in width.

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.

Long barrows are the earliest visible funerary monuments in the country
and are relatively rare in this region. Despite being reduced by
cultivation the long barrow 430m north west of the Mendip Nature Research
Station almost certainly acted as a focus for the later bowl barrow.

Bowl barrows are usually constructed as earthen mounds with an encircling
ditch and normally covered a single or multiple burial. They date from the
Late Neolithic period through to the Bronze Age.

Both the long barrow and bowl barrow 430m north west of the Mendip Nature
Research Station and their associated ditches will contain archaeological
deposits and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the
landscape in which it was constructed.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Grinsell, L, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, (1971), 116
Grinsell, L, 'Proceedings of Somerset Archaeology and Natural History Society' in Somerset Barrows, (1971), 87

Source: Historic England

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