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

Stony Littleton

Long Barrow


The barrow was first visited by Sir Richard Colt Hoare in 1801, then again in 1816 accompanied by the Rev. John Skinner. The last named antiquary began its examination by making an opening through the roof into the central avenue, which was, we are told, cleared of rubbish, no doubt partly caused by this difficult and hazardous undertaking..
RCH wrote a paper (published in Archaeologia) and during its reading exhibited two skulls he had found in the barrow. He stated the entrance had been closed by a large stone which "was removed in my presence and the original entrance restored" (presumably he noticed this from the inside, or it would have been the logical route of entry, rather than through the roof). He mentioned that some years previously the tumulus "had been resorted to as a stone quarry by a farmer" but fortunately the owner had stopped this and repaired the gap.
The large entrance stone has unfortunately disappeared. "Our investigations proved that the interments had been disturbed and their deposits (ie funereal furnishings) probably removed; for in the long avenue we met with many fragments of bones, etc., which had been displaced from the sepulchral recesses, many of which had been filled up with stones and other rubbish." We would like to know now what became of the etceteras and rubbish.
Hoare's paper being quoted here by Arthur Bulleid in 'Notes on some chambered long barrows of North Somerset' (Som Arch Nat Hist Soc Proc 1941 v87 p56-71).
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
4th April 2006ce

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