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Crippets Long Barrow

Long Barrow


The first time I found this barrow was entirely by accident, not even knowing it was there - a real "wowee!" moment. As I've lived in Cheltenham (about four miles away) for most of my life I couldn't believe I hadn't found it before, and made a return visit a couple of weeks later. Although it's in an open and exposed spot on the crest of the hill, the place is far enough off the beaten track that I had the place all to myself on both visits.

There are two ways to approach it by road: the most direct is the tiny little lane up past Ullenwood Court, which is single track and no fun if you meet a car coming the other way. You can park on the roadside next to the bridleway which runs past the barrow (a short walk), but doing so in February both me and the car got covered in mud. The other alternative is to walk up to it from Crickley Hill Country Park. It's a longer walk, and you have to stump up a quid for the car park, but it's a beautiful stroll. To get to it, walk northwards from the car park (i.e. the opposite direction from Crickley hillfort) through the gorgeous ancient beechwoods, and keep following the path beyond the boundary of the country park until you reach the strip of woodland called Barrow Piece. Within this wood is the gate leading into the field where Crippets barrow is impossible to miss.

The horses in the field are indeed very friendly and like to come over and check you out. On my second visit I was taking some infrared photographs which involves slow exposures and faffing around with tripods etc, and while I was busy composing a shot, a grey pony crept up behind me and began rummaging through my camera bag looking for treats. Having ascertained that I didn't have anything for him he strode forward and contemptuously smacked the underside of my lens, sending camera and tripod flying, and walked off in disgust. Most of the others were more friendly though and just wanted their ears rubbed.

The eastern end of the barrow has a distinctive shape which I thought at first was a 'horned' entrance of the type common on Cotswold barrows but it turns out to be the damage left behind by 18th century pillagers. On my first visit I didn't notice the capstone (if that's what it is) sticking out of the ground, but I found it readily enough when I was looking for it the second time. It's a fairly chunky slab but you can't see much of it as it's pretty nearly submerged in the earth.

I also missed the nearby round barrow on my first visit, but went back armed with a large-scale map and my best intuitive faculties and managed to find it. There is practically nothing left of it though, and I agree with the other reports - it's been ploughed flat and is only distinguishable by a very slight circular undulation and a slight change in the texture of the ground.
Rebsie Posted by Rebsie
17th April 2011ce

Comments (2)

A great fieldnote Rebsie, I've been exploring the long barrows of the Cotswolds during the past year as, until then, didn't have the means or time to do so. Seemed to have missed Crippet's Long Barrow though, something I must put right soon. (Your cloud photo is lovely too). tjj Posted by tjj
17th April 2011ce
Thank you, it's so nice to have your appreciative words. Crippets is well worth a visit. Rebsie Posted by Rebsie
19th April 2011ce
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