The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian


Long Barrow


Janet & Colin Bord's early gazetteer ("A Guide to Ancient Sites in Britain",1979, Paladin Books) shows a really interesting photo of the site after it had been excavated and left open (i.e. with at least 13 of the chamber stones sticking up proudly, before it was backfilled into the lumpy mess it is today). The book actually calls for the exposed stones to be preserved properly - presumably they had visited the site before it was backfilled in 1976 and didn't know that by the time the book was originally published (in 1978) it had already been covered over, although maybe not in the sensitive way that had hoped for!

The book comments "This Neolithic tomb is a good example of what happens to a megalithic burial chamber which is excavated and left open to the weather. When burial chambers are restored, a certain amount of rebuilding is necessary, and such unnatural materials as concrete are often used. This work can with some justification be criticised by the purist. But if the alternative is a sad picture of dereliction, such as we see at Notgrove, then surely preservation is justified. When the result is a beautiful structure like Belas Knap long barrow not far away, preservation is certainly justified."
pure joy Posted by pure joy
1st November 2003ce

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