Four miles west of Chipping Norton at the side of the A361. We parked by the sign pointing to Chadlington and Chilson and walked back to the barrow across a field. The most striking thing about it was the large standing stone which is now separated from the barrow by a barbed wire fence (evidence of sheep but none in the field today). We walked along the corner of the field and climbed over a wooden bit of the fence to gain access to the barrow. A tangle of moss covered stones littered about, the barrow is now completely covered with either hawthorn or blackthorn bushes.
It was one of those days when one minute it was pouring down with rain and the next the sun was out and it was hot. Unfortunately when I arrived at this site it chose to rain! This wasn't the easiest to access but I did manage to park on the verge next to the road signs just north of the site (where the public footpath starts). The A361 was very busy and the cars were mainly driving ridiculously fast in the 'monsoon' like conditions. Carrying Dafydd we carefully walked down the verge along the main road until we got near the clearly visible large standing stone. Unfortunately we were the wrong side of a double barbed wire fence and sheltering under the trees. Given the circumstances (neither of us had coats) I settled for a view from the roadside. The barrow itself was very overgrown and little detail could be made out. When arriving back at the car I took a little walk up the public footpath and discovered the standing stone was also easily visible from this point at the other end of the field. Worth a visit but be careful with the speeding cars.
After the excitement of last summer's massive thunderstorm, it was very pleasant to re-visit this site under pure blue skies and golden sunshine, despite a chilly breeze.
Had not had the opportunity previously to examine the longbarrow itself, but was able to this time. What a parlous state it is in, to be sure. Despite the fact there were stones left at its far end, I felt unable to take any photos. It would be like photographing a crime scene or an RTA.
The big outlier stone was just as impressive, however, and the early afterenoon sun picked out the textures superbly. Another place with fab views . . .
The skies had become a cauldron of meteorological phenomena by the time we drove along the ridge that led to Lyneham, and as we looked south, we could see a massively proportioned, purple and black thundercloud advancing up county towards us. It resembled something you would expect to find sweeping across African plains, as all round, the clouds towered into grey skies, their huge structures boiling and twisting into more thunderclouds as we watched. A strange light in the north filtered through more gigantic cumulonimbus, and clearly, a torrential downpour was imminent. Lightening flashed as we pulled off the road, and it was decided a very swift visit to this broken barrow would be the order of the day. The lovely Karen wisely elected to stay in the car.
As the bewitching Fiona and I strode through the field (keeping close to the hedgerow), towards the solitary stone that is Lyneham, another bolt of lightening lit up the sky, and a peal of thunder rumbled belligerently.
“How cool is this?!” I exclaimed gleefully, “Visiting a megalithic site in a thunderstorm, in the company of a megalithic goddess! Splendid!”
“Hmm,” replied Fiona nervously, more aware of the fact we were atop a ridge in open ground with only a hedge at the same height as ourselves. To the south, the countryside was obliterated by vertical sheets of water.
We reached the stone just before the first drops of rain, and spent a mad few minutes of camera work and stone appreciation; feeling the stone’s vibe seemed to calm Fiona’s sense of anxiety, and I felt the prevailing weather conditions really heightened this obscure site’s vibe. By now, the wind was whipping up, and the gigantic deluge was almost upon us, so we hurried back to the car, minutes before the storm broke.
We had planned to visit the Hawk Stone, and gamely made our way there through the tempest, but on arriving, it was clear we weren’t going to be able to reach her. After waiting 15 minutes, the downpour showed no signs of abating, so we returned to Karen’s for tea and biscuits, me cackling maniacally every time we drove through huge puddles in the roads. What a very impressive end to the day!
I tried to take photos of the barrow but it is very overgrown and could have been of anywhere.It was a lovely day,March at its best.Sunny but cool wind.This is another of the sites where despite being by a main road the noise was negligible.
...things looked no brighter at Lyneham long barrow. Just metres from the busy A361, this once mighty construction is reduced to a vast mound of thickly be-mossed rubble with thorny trees growing in a tangle out of the top if it. Wrecked, ruinous and depressing to see it. The one bright spot is the beautiful square outlying stone, standing proud, 6 foot tall, made of the same Oolitic rock as the Hawk stone and the Rollrights. Weather beaten, lichened and yet glowing in the spring sunshine, I grasped it as a pinprick of hope that the longbarrow might not be lost. Not yet, anyway.
I have realised that my last report here was inaccurate...as we found the Hoar Stone in 1999, not 2000 as I originally said.
On this day (20/12/99) I tried in vain (with my good friend and fellow Modern Antiquarian, Rich Simpson) to locate Lyneham Longbarrow (as usual without the OS Map) by driving around the village...it became colder, darker and more icy so we gave up. However, a year later, armed with the right map and location we found it, helped by the large stone in front of it, which was easy to spot from the road as we drove past. A good spot to park is by the bridle path entrance a few yards along the main road to the north.
Spookily, the shutter on Rich's camera jammed open whilst taking a picture, however, despite the light that must have been flooding in, he got a perfect photo...strange
Neolithic long barrow and a standing stone. The barrow and stone are aligned south west-north east along a ridge with gives them a dominant position within the local landscape overlooking valleys to the north west and south east. The long barrow mound measures 32 metres in length and stands up to 1.75 metres high at its 19 metre wide north east end. At its tail, or south west end, it tapers away to ground level and measures just 4 metres wide. In 1894 a part excavation located two chambers on the south east side of the mound and at least one of these contained bone fragments, pottery and charcoal. Also found were two Anglo-Saxon burials which had been cut into the top of the existing mound. Unusually there was no evidence of flanking quarry ditches which are commonly found either side of long barrow mounds. Immediately north east, at a distance of 9 metres from the barrow mound, stands a single monolith, which was broken in 1923 but reset in its original location in 1924. This stands 1.8 metres high. There is no surviving evidence of other standing stones in the area and it is probable that the mound originally extended a further 9 metres to the location of the stone where a facade of standing stones would have stood. Scheduled.