After a visit to Bulwarks Camp (27.2.2010), a quick trip round the footpath south past comes out in the Thornwell housing estate (formerly Thornwell farm).
It is great that the long barrow has survived the building of the estate, but the surroundings are hardly attractive. There are some visible megaliths, but I found it quite difficult to make much sense of what I was looking at. I also failed to spot the nearby round barrow - doh!
Located on a NW-facing slope in a recreational green area within a housing estate is a turf-covered, circular stony mound measuring 12m in diameter and 1m high on the NW, 0.3m on the SE. Excavations revealed the presence of a stone kerb, traces of which can occasionally be seen around the edge of the mound.
This sounds like another for the 'don't mind me' category. Thornwell tomb is now "in a recreational green area within a housing estate" according to Coflein, and sprouting trees. When it was investigated - pending the arrival of said estate - it was found to be a Severn-Cotswold style tomb: an oval mound with drystone walling, and three chambers inside (containing bones, pottery and flints).
The Celtic Way website at http://www.celticway.org/gwentborderlands.htm
has an interesting theory that the tomb overlooks a natural crossing point of the Severn. The site says that in the nineteenth century drovers taking cattle to London would swim them across here at low tide. And it's certainly a natural crossing point today, because one of the Severn Bridges dominates the area:)
.. the abandoned Thornwell farmhouse [is now part of] a dormitory estate.. During the building of the estate in 1990 two burial mounds were discovered, one Neolithic and the other Bronze Age. They are located on the corner of Fountain Way surrounded by a wooden fence. The spot is marked by a large tree.
The location [of the tomb] was reused in the Bronze Age. Two Early Bronze Age cist burials were found close to the main chamber .These contained the remains of two men. Alongside, but unexcavated is a mound classified as a Bronze Age cairn. It is tempting to identify continuity of occupation on what was a strategic crossing of the Severn.