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Lambourn Long Barrow

Long Barrow


Details of Long Barrow on Pastscape

Neolithic Long barrow discovered by L.V. Grinsell on Westcot Down. Excavations were carried out on the barrow by J.J. Wymer in 1964. A crouched burial and a later internment were found in a chamber, which consisted of a crude cist-like arrangement of sarsans, at the east end of the barrow. The side ditches produced Windmill Hill sherds below primary silt. Above the primary silt, but below the rapid silting of the south ditch, a broken human skull cap, burnt stones, sherds and animal bones were found. Among the flint implements found during the excavations were leaf shaped, petit tranchet and barbed and tanged arrowheads as well as flakes, scrapers, borers and a core. The long barrow is partially visible as cropmarks of a long mound surrounded by a ditch, on aerial photographs. The barrow appeared not to have been ploughed completely flat.

[SU 3232 8338] Long Barrow [G.T.] (1)
A long barrow was discovered at the south end of the wood on Westcot Down, by L.V. Grinsell in September 1935 (2).
It lies on the boundaries of Kingston Lisle, Lambourn and Sparsholt parishes (3)
The mound, oriented E.N.E by W.S.W., was 220 feet long, 70 feet wide and 4 1/2 feet in height at the higher eastern end, the
greater part of the latter being traversed by a cart track, while the N.E tip lies in the wood. A group of sarsens protrude
at the eastern end, some evidently placed vertically in the ground, and these may indicate a passage and chambers, possibly
of the Wayland's Smithy type [SU 28 NE 4] Ditches, 5 to 6 yards wide, run along both sides of the barrow and air photos suggest a ditch at the western end separated from the side ditches by slight intervals or causeways (2).
"The type of chambering is unknown, though it may well turn out to be a transepted gallery grave" (4).
The Lambourn long barrow can be dated c.2500-2000 BC(5) Scheduled (6) (2-6)
The western part of the long barrow is being ploughed out, but its limits are clearly defined by the difference in colour
between the dark silted ditches and the light chalk mount. The tops of the sarsens mentioned by Grinsell can be seen
protruding from the top of the mound where it is crossed by a track. Surveyed at 1:2500.
Newbury Museum have a Neolithic flint borer and scrapers from "Lambourn Long Barrow" (Acc No. 1960/8) donated by Reading
Museum. (7)
A crouched burial of late Neolithic date and a later interment in the chamber end of the barrow, were found during excvations
by J.Wymer of Reading Museum. (8)
The barrow was excavated in 1964 by J J Wymer (Reading Museum) for MPBW. The mound was virtually ploughed away but has been
constructed, apparently, as a central core (or spine) of small sarsens edged with turves and chalk heaped over. Nothing was
found in the mound, other than at the east end where there was a crude, cist-like arrangement of small sarsens containing an
unaccompanied crouched burial. The side ditches produced Windmill Hill sherds below primary silt, also a broken antler pick, charcoal, and flint artefacts. At the east end of the south ditch was a broken human skull cap, burnt stones, sherds and animal bones above primary silting, but below loose chalky rubble of rapid silting. There was no ditch around the west end. All finds are in Newbury Museum: among the flints are leaf-shaped, petit-tranchet and barbed and tanged arrowheads, flakes, scrapers, borers and a core. (9)
A c14 date for the barrow of Bc 3415 +- 180, was obtained from wood charcoal submitted to the Geochron Laboratory, Cambridge,
Mass, USA. The sample came from a small patch of burnt wood, on natural chalk under the primary chalk infilling of the south quarry ditch `near its tail end' (10)
Additional bibliogaphy (11-15)
SU 323834 Long barrow south of Westcot Down. Scheduled No 56. (16)
Other reference. (17)
The Neolithic long barrow, described by the previous authorities, is partially visible on aerial phootgraphs as a cropmark of a long mound surrounded by ditches. 45m of the west end of the barrow was visible but the east end was masked by trees. (18)
( 1) General reference O.S. 6" 1960
( 2) General reference Berks A.J. 40, 1936 59.62 (L.V.Grinsell)
( 3) General reference Trans. Newbury & Dist.F.C.7,1934-7,191+282 (H Peake)
( 4) General reference Arch of Wessex 1958, 32, (L.V.Grinsell)
( 5) General reference Guide to Prehist. Eng., 1960, 39 (N Thomas)
( 6) General reference A.M.s Eng & Wales, 1961, 19, (M.O.W.)
( 7) Field Investigators Comments F1 GHP 12-DEC-63
( 8) General reference Bull. Brit.Arch.Assn.p.2 Nov 1964
( 9) General reference Berks AJ 62 1965-6 1-16 plans etc (J J Wymer)
(10) General reference Antiquity 44 1970 144 (Notes)
(11) General reference Berks Field Res Grp 3 1965 5-7 (JJ Wymer)
(12) General reference Aer Arch 10 1984 65 fig 65 (G W Allen)
(13) General reference Earthen Long Barrow in Britain 1970 10.168,178 (P Ashbee)
(14) General reference BAR 107 pt 1 1982 182 Beaker Domestic Sites
(15) General reference BAR 35 Earlier Ne of S Eng & its Continental Background 1972 248 (AWR Whittle)
(16) General reference DOE (IAM) SAMS 1988 3 Berks
(17) General reference Oxoniensia 43, 1978, 245 (Brown L)
(18) Oblique aerial photograph reference number NMR SU3283/1-4 (ACA 7090/52-55)
Chance Posted by Chance
4th August 2012ce
Edited 4th August 2012ce

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