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Withington Long Barrow

Long Barrow


Of the four new-to-me Gloucestershire long barrows I visited during the post-lockdown summer months, Withington is both the best preserved and potentially the least easy to get to. Visited 30 August 2020.

I start from Colesbourne down in the picturesque Churn valley, a nice summer Sunday stroll along a quiet lane heading east then north up onto the high ground of the west Cotswolds. A bridleway from Hill Barn provides somewhat muddy access to Withington Woods. I get the feeling that this woodland is a 'country pursuits' kind of place, as various quad-biking lads wearing gillets and farming gear pass me en route and the distant crump of shotguns, a Cotswolds staple, breaks the peace.

Once in the woods I'm foolishly confident of choosing the right forestry track from a selection, but not sure how overgrown the barrow might be at the tail end of August. In any event, I end up going round in a circle, as the barrow isn't apparent on my initial pass of the area where I think it is. Second time around, I realise that I missed it because it's actually inside a high-fenced pheasant or partridge enclosure. Luckily the gate into the enclosure isn't locked, otherwise there would be no way of getting to the barrow.

The barrow is actually much better than I'd expected, a fine upstanding mound covered in pieces of limestone under a sparse covering of shrubby bushes and less undergrowth than I envisaged. I find no sign of the chamber referred to in Chance's miscellaneous notes but it's still an impressive monument.

Despite the nice woodland setting, the barrow isn't a particularly inviting place to hang around, as being effectively enclosed by 7 foot high wire mesh with only one way in or out kind of kills the atmosphere. Still, it's really pleasing to find a decent monument here, the main threat to which seems to be tree roots and some light animal burrowing in the flanks.

Having escaped the wire, I head northwest along a broad track to seek out Withington West round barrow.
thesweetcheat Posted by thesweetcheat
21st December 2020ce
Edited 21st December 2020ce

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