This Long Barrow is huge and easily spotted from the minor road off the A46 leading to the very pretty village of Leighterton – a place I plan a return visit to at some point in the future.
There is no public right of way to the Long Barrow and I felt it would have been be a bit too obvious crossing the open fields and climbing over the 3 walls it would have required to get up close – all within sight of the village houses!
The Barrow looked to be about 50 metres long and there were two birds of prey silently hovering overhead.
Well worth a view when in the area.
A beautiful late summer day and a walk planned along the Cotswold Way from Nympsfield long barrow to Uley Bury Hillfort then on to Hetty Pegler's Tump.
My friend (the amazing map-reading M) picked me up at the usual place in Cricklade and away we went, heading in the direction of Malmesbury. M had a little surprise tucked away; en route we went through the little village of Leighterton, deep in the rural Cotswolds; M had been studying OS Explorer 168 and spotted a long barrow just past the village school along Boxwell Road.
This is an enormous barrow and easily visible from the road; we parked in a little pull-in and donned walking boots – although on private land we were definitely up for a clamber over the three Cotswold stone walls that were between us and the barrow. Be warned about these walls though, especially the road side one – a low wide wall with a much higher drop into the next field; not really a problem until we returned.
The barrow is magnificent, reminiscent of the East Kennett Long Barrow it is a similar size – 80 metres and 6 metres high. Although it didn't appear to be on high ground there was tantalizing glimpses of harvested bales spreading out to the south of the barrow. The barrow itself is surrounded by an old Cotswold stone wall which is relatively easy to climb so we did … it is completely covered with ivy and trees (either sycamores or field maples). Clues to long past excavation in the dips where there was once possibly an entrance to the barrow, however, this is no longer in evidence.
A few scrapes and scratches to show for this one, but so well worth it.
Apparently standing at around 6m high, this is one of the 'tallest' longbarrows in Britain. In was opened in 1700 by Matthew Huntley, who by rooting around mostly at the East end found 3 chambers which were 'vaults arched over'. Each contained cremation urns, and whole skulls and thighbones. Unfortunately he didn't tidy up behind himself very well and the barrow decayed a bit. But presumably not that badly if it's still 6m? Now it's covered in trees and surrounded by a modern wall - I don't know if any stones are still visible, but maybe it's still impressive due to it's size. It's not far off the A46 should you be heading that way.
(info from Castleden's Neolithic Britain)
James Dyer's 'Cotswolds and Upper Thames' regional archaeology guide says that John Aubrey described a stone standing at the 'great end' of the barrow, but this has vanished.