There are several minor roads which run across Minchinhampton Common.
Two of the roads run either side of the Long Barrow.
I like visiting sites on Commons.
Firstly, you can walk about wherever you like without any problems and
Secondly it is usually very easy to park.
As is the case here, although you do have to keep an eye out for low flying golf balls!
It took a few minutes to spot the Barrow as it blends in with the various golf bunkers.
In fact, if you didn’t know what it was you would think it was a bunker!
The Barrow is well mangled and sits right next to one of the greens.
It is approx 1m high x 30m long x 10m across.
The centre has been dug out and it now resembles a horse shoe in shape.
There were several stones sticking out of the grass in the centre of the depression.
As I said, I like visiting Commons but it was by now getting dark and we were well late in getting home to pick the children up. Time to go……….
A second visit (23.8.09) finds me with a change of heart to this barrow. Although the monument itself is very reduced and damaged, this time I left it by going north towards Rodborough. Looking back the barrow, even in its current state, is prominent on the skyline and in its original condition must have provided an important focal point. The Common doesn't really have a particular high spot and the barrow is therefore as elevated as anything around it, which is rather unusual for a Cotswold long barrow. Even the ultra-prominent long barrow on nearby Selsley Common, the Toots, sits below the highest point of the area.
[Non-prehistoric point to look for: There is an interesting megalithic (although not presumably in date) milestone nearby, with hundreds of 1" holes carved into the rounded rear face.]
Visited 21.3.2009, via The Bulwarks. The Tump is a sorry vestige of a long barrow, merely a slightly raised mound with a circular excavation scar. It looks more like a round barrow than a long barrow, standing less than a metre tall in its highest part. It is also right next to a golf green and tee. Still, it made for a nice spot to sit and rest my aching feet and to watch the world go by.
Rather more intriguing is a deep pit immediately to the west of the barrow, with steps leading down to a great mound of very much long barrow proportions - I guess this must be a pillow mound of some kind, but would actually make for a much more impressive long barrow that the real thing!
More information from 'A history of the parishes of Minchinhampton and Avening' by Arthur Twisden Playne (1915).
"There is on Minchinhampton Common an old British tumulus, which has been so maltreated that it is difficult to trace its original shape, but it has in recent times a remarkable history, for here the celebrated divine George Whitefiled preached to enormous congregations, and from this circumstance it has been known as 'Whitefield's Tump'."
He also mentions that Whitefield was a frequent visitor to Minchinhampton. He was born in Gloucester in 1714. In March 1743 he wrote in his diary "Then I rode to Stroud and preached to about 12,000 people in Mrs G's field, and about six in the evening to a like number on Hampton Common... After this went to Hampton and held a general love feast and went to bed about midnight very cheerful and happy."
Tump is a western English dialect word, first recorded at the end of the 16th c.AD, meaning a mound. George Whitefield (pronounced Whitfield) was said to be the greatest orator of his age. A Calvinist evangelist, he preached to thousands in the open air across England and in North America. He is said to have addressed a large crowd from the top of this long barrow in 1743AD. Hence the name, Whitfield's Tump.