Parking is easy – in a lay by next to a public footpath sign. (room for about 3 cars)
The it’s a case of climbing over the stone stile and walking up the tarmac road leading to the transmitter and the Long Barrow.
Karen sat in the car with Sophie while myself and Dafydd walked up the hill through the drizzle. I admired the views whilst Dafydd admired the large dried cow pats!
The Barrow itself is as expected – a long, low grass covered mound. Not a lot to see but worth the walk to admire the views (and the cow pats perhaps?!)
[visited circa may 2006] Back again again. I've revisited this site several times since my first notes, it used to be on my way home and was ideal for a 1/2 hour chill from the hectic life(tm).
Anyhow, I've also revisited my thoughts on the potential bank barrow. Having seen all of the visible ones in Dorset from the ground, I think this definately qualifies to be classed alongside them. Its certainly as long and if this land has been ploughed a lot, the lesser height and width can be explained easily.
More importantly in my mind:
- its older than the obviously old stone wall that cuts across it.
- it seems to be thicker at the higher end
- it has no defensive use
- it points at the long barrow
Anyone in the area who's also seen a 'proper' bank barrow should go have a look!
[visited 28/11/04] Apart from the Priddy henges, this is the one I've been wanting to visit longest in this area. I got the OS map of the area and then had to drive past the mendip main tv transmitter everyday, knowing there was a longbarrow I'd not visited right underneath it. Finally however I got to it, having picked our way across a sea of mud, the barrow is in its own little enclosure.
Its positioned perfectly, running along the crest of the hill and the view across the somerset levels is gorgeous. Of course most of the land you see now was underwater in the neolithic, but the distant hills were certainly occupied and the gods are always watching.
The barrow is in fairly good nick but is clearly denuded, I couldn't see any sign of stones around or on it, so this is presumably an earthen longbarrow. Unless someone has nicked them all of course. I'd recommend this site, though the huge transmitter may put some people off as it really is hard to forget about it towering above you.
Access is up a metalled track to the transmitter, then round to the left, through the gate and the barrow is in front of you enclosed in fencing.
One more thing worth looking at is the weird linear feature to the east of the barrow which you'll probably see before the barrow itself. This is the 'bank barrow' Rhiannon mentions. I'm not convinced it qualifies to be in the same league as the dorset ones. Its just not enough of a brute for that in my opinion, its too small in width and height.
It does however look similar to the weird tracks leading up to the Barrow above the long man of wilmington. I'd bet someone elses house on it being as old as the barrow.
T 218 - a long barrow on the south side of Pen Hill at an altitude of about 950 Ft., is oriented nearly east and west, has a length of 130 ft., and is square ended with distinct traces of a ditch on the northern side. It is higher and wider at the east end, where it measures 30 ft wide by 5 ft. 5 ins. high. (2) This is a mound 40 metres long and 0.7 metres high with faint traces of a ditch on its northern side and the remains of surface quarrying on its southern side. It is probably, but not certainly, a long barrow. The probable bowl barrow (ST 54 NE 35) at the east end of the mound may originally have been part of the long mound as there are traces of an old trackway between the two mounds. Surveyed at 1/2500. (See ST 54 NE 37). (3) ST 5635 4876: Long barrow with side ditches which are not parallel but widen towards the SW. Listed by Grinsell as St Cuthbert Out I. (5) ST 5634 4868. A Neolithic long barrow located below the crest of Pen Hill. It is 44 metres in length, an average of 13 metres wide and up to 2 metres high. A later round barrow (UID 196928) lies 3 metres to the east. Scheduled.
Pen Hill, at the eastern edge of the Mendips is a landmark for many miles - chiefly because of the enormous tv transmitter on top of it. But it must have been an important place in prehistory, as it is the site of a well-preserved longbarrow, a round barrow and a cairn.
In his 1966 book 'Prehistoric sites in the Mendip, South Cotswold and Bristol Region' Mr Grinsell suggests there is a bank barrow there too. He admits this would be highly unusual as the few other examples are in South Dorset. At any rate, he spotted a long mound 750ft in length, 2ft high and 24ft wide, extending away from the longbarrow. (this is not mentioned in the smr).