Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Long barrow 410m south east of Partridge Hall Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Swaffham Prior, Cambridgeshire

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Latitude: 52.2343 / 52°14'3"N

Longitude: 0.3259 / 0°19'33"E

OS Eastings: 558926.99632

OS Northings: 262117.159049

OS Grid: TL589621

Mapcode National: GBR N9T.Z1Y

Mapcode Global: VHHK6.L3MH

Entry Name: Long barrow 410m south east of Partridge Hall Farm

Scheduled Date: 12 March 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020842

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33382

County: Cambridgeshire

Civil Parish: Swaffham Prior

Traditional County: Cambridgeshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cambridgeshire

Church of England Parish: Swaffham Prior St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Ely


The monument includes the buried remains of a long barrow 410m south east of
Partridge Hall Farm. Although the mound of the barrow has been reduced
by ploughing and is no longer visible above ground, buried deposits survive.
The encircling ditch, from which earth was dug in the construction of the
mound, and the central burial area are visible on aerial photographs as
cropmarks (areas of enhanced growth resulting from higher levels of moisture
retained by the underlying archaeological features). The barrow is aligned
east-west and measures approximately 66m long and 30m wide.
The long barrow lies on a low chalk rise and is part of an extensive spread of
prehistoric barrows across the chalk uplands of north Hertfordshire and south

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 10 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.

Although the long barrow 410m south east of Partridge Hall Farm is no
longer visible as an earthwork, its buried remains survive and will
contain a range of highly significant archaeological evidence. Buried
soils underneath the mound will retain valuable archaeological
information concerning land use in the area prior to the construction of
the barrow. Organic deposits preserved in the ditch will provide
information on environmental conditions (eg climate, flora and fauna)
during and following its use as a funerary monument. The central burial area
may preserve fragments of grave goods and/or skeletal material, which will
provide further rare evidence relating to the Neolithic occupation of the
area. The monument has additional importance as part of a formerly
extensive barrow cemetery, now largely destroyed by ploughing.

Source: Historic England

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