The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

Stony Littleton

Long Barrow


The ammonite at Stoney Littleton may (and I stress may) have something to do with the ammonites found at Keynsham, some 15 miles away. Ammonites were found in a quarry at Keynsham, and they still decorate cottage walls there.

The small fossil on the opposite stone of the doorway, opposite to ammonite, is probably a nautilus fossil.

To add to the history of ammonites in this area, apparently ammonites occasionally get" pyritized", the fossil being replaced by iron pyrites (these were also found at Priddy Henges). 'Fools gold ' turns the fossil into something of real beauty, perhaps it is this that the neolithic people were remembering when they displayed the door stone at Stoney Littleton, a golden sun.
taken from "Gloucester" by Peter Sale.

And to add to Rhiannon's post below. When the reconstruction was done in 1858, a sunken ditch was dug so that a small fence could be built, on digging the ditch they found an "original wall of unmortared stones on each side of the doorway (the horned effect). The junction of the old/new wall is marked by two upright stones.
As stones would have been taken away in the 19th c, the longbarrow has been somewhat reduced on top, in the drawings in the 1858 article, the top is much more pronounced and is also tree covered., to quote " looked like a large boat keel turned upwards"
moss Posted by moss
10th June 2005ce
Edited 28th June 2006ce

Comments (1)

A lovely visit. Sunny morning in late October with the light illuminating the entire corridor and bathing the innermost chamber, while the ammonite glowed golden like a sunburst at the entrance.

Two women who very visiting with their children were convinced that the builders had intended to recreate a womb. Another image that sprung to my mind was of a boat cresting a gentle wave and sailing towards the stars.

It is a kinder monument than, say, Newgrange. Cosy. Not so imposing. The passage is smaller, as if built for children. Rebirth.

Climbing the hill from the car park there are many interesting bumps and hollows to fire the imagination. Something for Timeteam to scan, perhaps. Once on the barrow you see a landscape that is flattened by the plough. That this monument has survived is a little miracle. While Googling I saw some amazing crop circles in the stoney field above; more stories to be told.

Easy to find and access, but the lanes are very narrow. No coaches fortunately.
Posted by greybeard
4th November 2011ce
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