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Long Barrow


Surprisingly? (being a Cotswold long-barrow) the Pinkwell barrow hasn't been added to TMA before, but maybe there's still enough to see, according to its Pastscape record. Having explained how it is rare to find a long barrow unmessed with, the author then with no sense of irony, Commences Excavations. This clearly did not help its appearance at the time and doubtless contributed to whatever state it's in today. Tch.
This tumulus has always been known as 'Long Barrow,' and the field in which it is situated as 'Long Barrow Field', but this designation was probably given to it at a comparatively recent period, when the Chedworth district of the extensive Cotswold range was first inclosed.

I learned that the southern end of the barrow had been disturbed about twenty years since for the purpose of obtaining stone, when three human skeletons were found lying side by side, but unaccompanied by relics of any description. The teeth were remarkably perfect. This rather invited than discouraged further investigation, for, although the centre of the mound appeared to have been disturbed on its surface, I was led to believe that this was attributable to the labourers in search of stone, and that it had never been ransacked by the antiquary or the treasure-seeker.

We commenced excavations on the eastern side of the south end of the mound, which appeared to be intact, and on reaching the interior it became evident that the floor of the barrow had been excavated to a depth of two feet below the natural surface of the soil. The sides were built up with the smaller stones of the district, in the manner of 'a dry wall,' but nearer the centre the stones were of larger size, and all were placed with great apparent care, plainly showing that this end of the barrow had not been disturbed since its first formation.

After a careful search for some hours, and the removal of a vast number of stones, we were satisfied that there had been no deposit of any kind in this portion of the barrow, and we proceeded to remove the stones at the opposite end, where the skeletons already mentioned had been found. As the work proceeded it became obvious that the stones here were not placed with care; in fact that they had been thrown together without order or arrangement, and that this barrow had been assailed at some distant period.

Nothing but the hope that the mound had been imperfectly explored would have tempted further search, and this at length ended in the finding of the metal tag of a lace and a minute fragment of pottery. By the dark brown glaze upon the latter, it is probably not earlier than the end of the sixteenth or beginning of the seventeenth century, and to this period I would refer the first assault of the barrow at Pinkwell.
From the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of London, volume 3 (1856). John Yonge Akerman, the Secretary of the society, reports.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
19th April 2013ce
Edited 21st April 2013ce

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