Cotswold-Severn Group

The Cotswold-Severn Group are a series of long barrows erected in an area of western Britain during the Early Neolithic. Around 200 known examples of long barrows are known from the Cotswold-Severn region, although an unknown number of others were likely destroyed prior to being recorded.

Waylands Smitty 2 db
The exposed stone burial chambers of Wayland's Smithy long barrow, Oxfordshire, U.K.

Definition

The concept of the "Cotswold-Severn group" was coined by 1937 by the archaeologist Glyn Daniel.[1] They represent a regional grouping of long barrows, a broader architectural tradition found across Atlantic Europe.[2] This tradition stretches from southeast Spain up to southern Sweden, taking in the British Isles to the west.[3] Overall, about 40,000 long barrows are known to survive from the Early Neolithic across Europe.[3] The long barrows are not the world's oldest known structures using stone—they are predated by Göbekli Tepe in modern Turkey—but they do represent the oldest widespread tradition of using stone in construction.[4] The archaeologist Frances Lynch has described them as "the oldest built structures in Europe" to survive.[5] Although found across this large area, they can be subdivided into clear regionalised traditions based on architectural differences, of which the Cotswold-Severn Group is one.[3]

Wayland Smithy Long barrow
The entrance to Wayland's Smithy, one of the Cotswold-Severn Group in modern Oxfordshire.

The long barrow tradition originated somewhere in the area of modern Spain, Portugal, and western France; here, the long barrows were first erected in the mid-fifth millennium BCE.[4] The tradition then spread north, along the Atlantic coast.[4] It had reached Britain by the first half of the fourth millennium BCE, either soon after farming or in some cases perhaps just before it, and then moved into other parts of northern Europe, for instance arriving in the area of the modern Netherlands by the second half of the fourth millennium BCE.[4] On the basis of dates ascertained from a number of excavations, Darvill argued that long barrows appeared in the Cotswolds-Severn region fairly abruptly around 3700 BCE.[2] They continued to be built for about 600 years.[6] By 2600 BCE, very few of them had chambers that remained in active use and many had been deliberately blocked up.[7]

Within the Cotswolds-Severn area, there are around 200 known long barrows.[8] An unknown number have been destroyed before ever having been recorded; at least ten of those that had been recorded have since been destroyed or lost.[8] Over 140 long barrows are known within the Cotswolds area itself.[9] In northern Wiltshire and in the Dorset chalk hills, the Cotswold-Severn Group of long barrows overlap with the style of earthen barrow found largely across the east of the island.[10]

Design

Uley Long Barrow as seen from the south
Uley Long Barrow, also known as "Hetty Peggler's Tump", in Gloucestershire

The choice of place in which the Cotswold-Severn long barrows were erected is unlikely to have been random.[11]

Darvill noted that "when these sites were new, they were brutal and hard; bright white rocky mounds covering dark dank shadowy chambers."[12]

Funerary deposits

The Cotswold-Severn Group long barrows usually contained human bone in large quantities, with said barrows averaging the remains of between 40 and 50 individuals each.[10] In some cases, the individual corpses may have been placed into the chamber whole and then left to decay inside; in others, the body may have been dismembered or excarnated outside the barrow before the bones were then placed into the chamber.[10] Usually, the bones of different individuals were jumbled up within the chambers of the tomb, perhaps reflecting a deliberate decision to symbolically merge the individual with the collective dead.[13] In some cases, the bones were segregated into different chambers within the tomb according to age or sex.[14] In most cases, such deposits of human bone were made successively, at various intervals.[14] It is also apparent that in some cases, select bones appear to have been removed from the chambers, perhaps for use in ritualised practices.[14]

When entering the chambers to either add or remove new material, individuals would likely have been exposed to the smell of decaying corpses.[15] It is unknown if entering this area was therefore seen by Early Neolithic Europeans as an ordeal to be overcome or an honourable job to be selected for.[15]

In a few instances, other items were deposited in the chambers with the human bone. Such deposits included pottery, worked flint, pebbles, stone discs, beads, bone pins, dog bones, and most prominently, cattle bone.[16] The deposition of animal bone—especially the skulls of cattle and pigs—was also a common recurring factor in the forecourts of the Cotswold-Severn long barrows.[16] The purpose of these is not known; they may have represented totemic animals, have been seen as protective deposits, or been the remains of feasts.[16]

Meaning and purpose

While the purpose and meaning of these long barrows are not known, archaeologists have made suggestions on the basis of recurring patterns that can be observed within the tradition.[12] Many archaeologists have suggested that this is because Early Neolithic people adhered to an ancestor cult that venerated the spirits of the dead, believing that they could intercede with the forces of nature for the benefit of their living descendants.[17] It has furthermore been suggested that Early Neolithic people entered into the tombs—which doubled as temples or shrines—to perform rituals that would honour the dead and ask for their assistance.[18] For this reason, the historian Ronald Hutton termed these monuments "tomb-shrines" to reflect their dual purpose.[4]

1010628-WestKennettLongbarrow (16)
The front area of West Kennet Long Barrow in Wiltshire

In Britain, these tombs were typically located on prominent hills and slopes overlooking the surrounding landscape, perhaps at the junction between different territories.[19] The archaeologist Caroline Malone noted that the tombs would have served as one of a variety of markers in the landscape that conveyed information on "territory, political allegiance, ownership, and ancestors."[20] Many archaeologists have subscribed to the idea that these tomb-shrines served as territorial markers between different tribal groups, although others have argued that such markers would be of little use to a nomadic herding society.[21] Instead it has been suggested that they represent markers along herding pathways.[22] Many archaeologists have suggested that the construction of such monuments reflects an attempt to stamp control and ownership over the land, thus representing a change in mindset brought about by the transition from the hunter-gatherer Mesolithic to the pastoralist Early Neolithic.[23] Others have suggested that these monuments were built on sites already deemed sacred by Mesolithic hunter-gatherers.[24]

Distribution

Tombs of this type are concentrated in the Cotswolds but extend as far as Gower and Avebury with some isolated examples in North Wales. Tombs of all three types are generally evenly distributed and it has been theorised that the design evolved over time. Severn-Cotswold tombs share certain features with the transepted gallery graves of the Loire and may have been inspired by these, with the lateral chambers and other differences being local variations.

In the 1960s and 1970s Dr John X. W. P. Corcoran and others argued that the group in fact consisted of three contemporary types,[25] and later excavations have supported this.

Archaeological investigation

Stoney Littleton Long Barrow 2015 23
Memorial items, including a Thor's hammer pendant, in the chamber of Stoney Littleton Long Barrow in Somerset, 2015

One of the first major studies of the subject was The Long Barrows of the Cotswolds, written by the archaeologist O. G. S. Crawford and published in 1925.[2]

During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, a number of sites in the Cotswold-Severn Group were subject to restoration efforts to turn then into visitor attractions.[10]

List of sites

In the North Wessex Downs

Name Location Listed number Still extant
Beckhampton Firs Long Barrow
East Kennett Long Barrow East Kennett, Wiltshire 1012323
Horton Down Long Barrow Wiltshire 1013141
Kitchen Barrow Wiltshire 1012519
Longstones Long Barrow Wiltshire 1008126
Shepherd's Shore Wiltshire 1014030
South Street Long Barrow Wiltshire
Wayland's Smithy Oxfordshire 1008409
West Kennet Long Barrow Wiltshire 1010628
West Woods Long Barrow Wiltshire

In the Cotswold Hills

Name Location Listed number Still extant
Avening Long Barrow Avening, Gloucestershire No
Belas Knap Sudeley, Gloucestershire 1008199 Yes
Bown Hill Long Barrow Gloucestershire 1017085
Boxwell Lodge Gloucestershire
Buckholt Wood Long Barrow Near Nympsfield, Gloucestershire
Coberley Long Barrow Gloucestershire 1002129
Fox Culvert Long Barrow Wiltshire 1010396
Gatcombe Lodge Long Barrow Gloucestershire 1008623
Giant's Cave Near Badminton, Wiltshire 1010394
Hawkesbury Knoll Long Barrow Hawkesbury, Gloucestershire
Lanhill Long Barrow Wiltshire 1010908
Lechmore Tump Gloucestershire 1002114
Leighterton Long Barrow Leighterton, Gloucestershire 1013590
Lineover Long Barrow Gloucestershire 1018166
Lugbury Long Barrow Wiltshire 1010397
Uley Long Barrow Uley, Gloucestershire 1008195 Yes
Norn's Tump Gloucestershire 1008196
Notgrove Long Barrow Notgrove, Gloucestershire 1009157
Nympsfield Long Barrow Frocester, Gloucestershire 1007912
Starveall Long Barrow Gloucestershire 1002473
Stoney Littleton Long Barrow Somerset 1007910
Symonds Hall Long Barrow Near Wotton-Under-Edge, Gloucestershire 1002113
The Tingle Stone Gloucestershire 1008622
The Toots Near Selsey, Gloucestershire 1002131
Tormarton Long Barrow Near Tormarton, Gloucestershire
Randwick Long Barrow Gloucestershire 1002107
Whispering Knights Oxfordshire 1018400
Whitfield's Tump Near Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire 1008092
Windmill Tump Long Barrow Rodmarton, Gloucestershire 1008198
Woodleaze Farm Long Barrow Near Kingscote, Gloucestershire

West of the Severn

Name Location Listed number Still extant
Arthur's Stone Bredwardine, Herefordshire 1010720
Cross Lodge Long Barrow Herefordshire 1014106
Gwernvale Long Barrow Crickhowell, Powys
Parc le Breos Cwm Pem-maen, Swansea
Maesyfelin Long Barrow St Lythans, Vale of Glamorgan
Tinkinswood St Nicholas, Vale of Glamorgan

References

Footnotes

  1. ^ Darvill 2004, p. 11; Hutton 2013, p. 46.
  2. ^ a b c Darvill 2004, p. 11.
  3. ^ a b c Hutton 2013, p. 40.
  4. ^ a b c d e Hutton 2013, p. 41.
  5. ^ Lynch 1997, p. 5.
  6. ^ Darvill 2004, pp. 11–12.
  7. ^ Darvill 2004, p. 12.
  8. ^ a b Darvill 2004, p. 83.
  9. ^ Darvill 2004, p. 9; Hutton 2013, p. 46.
  10. ^ a b c d Hutton 2013, p. 46.
  11. ^ Darvill 2004, p. 87.
  12. ^ a b Darvill 2004, p. 13.
  13. ^ Hutton 2013, pp. 46, 48.
  14. ^ a b c Hutton 2013, p. 48.
  15. ^ a b Hutton 2013, p. 50.
  16. ^ a b c Hutton 2013, p. 49.
  17. ^ Burl 1981, p. 61; Malone 2001, p. 103.
  18. ^ Burl 1981, p. 61.
  19. ^ Malone 2001, pp. 106–107.
  20. ^ Malone 2001, p. 107.
  21. ^ Hutton 2013, pp. 42–43.
  22. ^ Hutton 2013, p. 43.
  23. ^ Hutton 2013, p. 39.
  24. ^ Hutton 2013, pp. 39–40.
  25. ^ Lynch, Frances (2004). Megalithic Tombs and Long Barrows in Britain. Princes Risborough: Shire. p. 54. ISBN 0-7478-0341-2. Retrieved 20 April 2011.

Bibliography

Burl, Aubrey (1981). Rites of the Gods. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. ISBN 978-0460043137.
Bradley, Richard (1998). The Significance of Monuments: On the Shaping of Human Experience in Neolithic and Bronze Age Europe. London and New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-15204-6.
Darvill, Timothy (2004). Long Barrows of the Cotswolds and Surrounding Areas. Stroud: The History Press. ISBN 978-0752429076.
Hutton, Ronald (1991). The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles: Their Nature and Legacy. Oxford and Cambridge: Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-631-17288-8.
Hutton, Ronald (2013). Pagan Britain. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-197716.
Malone, Caroline (2001). Neolithic Britain and Ireland. Stroud: Tempus. ISBN 978-0-7524-1442-3.
Lynch, Frances (1997). Megalithic Tombs and Long Barrows in Britain. Princes Risborough: Shire Publications. ISBN 978-0747803416.

Further reading

  • Crawford, O.G.S. (1925). The Long Barrows of the Cotswolds: A description of long barrows, stone circles and other megalithic remains in the area covered by Sheet 8 of the Quarter-Inch Ordnance Survey comprising the Cotswolds and the Welsh Marches. Gloucester: John Bellows.
  • Daniel, Glynn E. (1950). The Prehistoric Chamber Tombs of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Thomas, Julian (1988). "The Social Significance of Cotswold-Severn Burial Practices". Man. 23 (3): 540–559. JSTOR 2803265.
  • Thomas, Richard; McFadyen, Lesley (2010). "Animals and Cotswold-Severn Long Barrows: A Re-examination". Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society. 76: 95–113. doi:10.1017/S0079497X00000463.
  • Orientations of Neolithic Chambered Tombs in Glamorgan and Gwent, South Wales by Martin J. Powell
Addington Long Barrow

Addington Long Barrow is a chambered long barrow located near to the village of Addington in the southeastern English county of Kent. Constructed during Britain's Early Neolithic period, today it survives only in a ruined state. Built out of earth and around fifty local sarsen megaliths, the long barrow consisted of a sub-rectangular earthen tumulus enclosed by kerb-stones. Collapsed stones on the northeastern end of the chamber probably represented a stone chamber in which human remains might have been deposited; none, however, have been discovered.

Archaeologists have established that the monument was built by pastoralist communities shortly after the introduction of agriculture to Britain from continental Europe. Although representing part of an architectural tradition of long barrow building that was widespread across Neolithic Europe, Addington Long Barrow belongs to a localised regional variant of barrows produced in the vicinity of the River Medway, now known as the Medway Megaliths. Of these, it lies near to both Chestnuts Long Barrow and Coldrum Long Barrow on the western side of the river. Three further surviving long barrows, Kit's Coty House, the Little Kit's Coty House, and the Coffin Stone, are located on the Medway's eastern side.

After the Early Neolithic, the long barrow fell into a state of ruined dilapidation, with a small road being built through the centre of the monument by the 19th century at the latest. Local folklore grew up around the site, associating it with the countless stones motif. The ruin attracted the interest of antiquarians in the early 18th century, and was studied by local archaeologists in the 20th. Both it and the nearby Chestnuts Long Barrow are open for public viewing by appointment with the landowner.

Arthur's Stone, Herefordshire

Arthur's Stone, Herefordshire is a Neolithic chambered tomb, or Dolmen, dating from 3,700 BC – 2,700 BC and is situated on the ridge line of a hill overlooking both the Golden Valley, Herefordshire and the Wye Valley, Herefordshire.

Badshot Lea Long Barrow

Badshot Lea Long Barrow is an unchambered long barrow located near to the village of Badshot Lea in the south-eastern English county of Surrey. Probably constructed in the fourth millennium BCE, during Britain's Early Neolithic period, today it survives only in a ruined state. Built out of earth, the long barrow consists of a tumulus flanked by side ditches.

Archaeologists have established that the monument was built by pastoralist communities shortly after the introduction of agriculture to Britain from continental Europe. Although representing part of an architectural tradition of long barrow building that was widespread across Neolithic Europe, the Badshot Lea Long Barrow is the only known example in Surrey. The nearest examples are the Medway Megaliths, clustered around the River Medway in Kent, and the long barrows of Sussex.

During the 1930s, the site was excavated by Alexander Keiller and Stuart Piggott.

Belas Knap

Belas Knap is a neolithic, chambered long barrow situated on Cleeve Hill, near Cheltenham and Winchcombe, in Gloucestershire, England. It is a scheduled ancient monument in the care of English Heritage but managed by Gloucestershire County Council. "Belas" is possibly derived from the Latin word bellus, 'beautiful', which could describe the hill or its view. "Knap" is derived from the Old English for the top, crest, or summit of a hill.

It is a type of monument known as the Cotswold Severn Cairn, all of which have a similar trapezoid shape, and are found scattered along the River Severn. Belas Knap is described in the English Heritage designation listing statement as an "outstanding example representing a group of long barrows

commonly referred to as the Cotswold-Severn group".

Coffin Stone

The Coffin Stone, also known as the Coffin and the Table Stone, is a large sarsen stone at the foot of Blue Bell Hill near the village of Aylesford in the south-eastern English county of Kent. Various archaeologists have argued—although not proven—that the stone was part of a chambered long barrow constructed in the fourth millennium BCE, during Britain's Early Neolithic period.

If the Coffin Stone is part of a destroyed chambered long barrow, then it would have been built by pastoralist communities shortly after the introduction of agriculture to Britain from continental Europe. Long barrow building was an architectural tradition widespread across Neolithic Europe although comprised various localised regional variants; one of these was in the vicinity of the River Medway, examples of which are now known as the Medway Megaliths. The Coffin Stone lies on the eastern side of the river, not far from the chambered long barrows of Little Kit's Coty House and Kit's Coty House; three other examples, the Coldrum Long Barrow, Addington Long Barrow, and Chestnuts Long Barrow, remain on the western side of the river.

The Coffin Stone is a rectangular slab lying flat that measures 4.4 metres (14 ft) long and 2.8 metres (9.2 ft) wide. Two smaller stones lie nearby and another large slab is now located atop it. In the 1830s it was reported that local farmers found human bones near to the stone. An archaeological excavation of the site led by Paul Garwood took place in 2008–09; it revealed that the megalith was only placed in its present location in the 15th or 16th centuries. Although finding no evidence of a chambered long barrow at that location, the archaeologists noted that the Coffin Stone might once have stood upright in the local vicinity.

Kit's Coty House

Kit's Coty House or Kit's Coty is a chambered long barrow located near to the village of Aylesford in the southeastern English county of Kent. Constructed circa 4000 BCE, during the Early Neolithic period of British prehistory, today it survives in a ruined state.

Archaeologists have established that the monument was built by pastoralist communities shortly after the introduction of agriculture to Britain from continental Europe. Although representing part of an architectural tradition of long barrow building that was widespread across Neolithic Europe, Kit's Coty House belongs to a localised regional variant of barrows produced in the vicinity of the River Medway, now known as the Medway Megaliths. Of these, it lies near to both Little Kit's Coty House and the Coffin Stone on the eastern side of the river. Three further surviving long barrows, Addington Long Barrow, Chestnuts Long Barrow, and Coldrum Long Barrow, are located west of the Medway.

They were among the first ancient British remains to be protected by the state, on the advice of General Augustus Pitt-Rivers, the first Inspector of Ancient Monuments. The site is now under the ownership of non-departmental public body English Heritage, and is open to visitors all year round.

Little Kit's Coty House

Little Kit's Coty House, also known as Lower Kit's Coty House and the Countless Stones, is a chambered long barrow located near to the village of Aylesford in the southeastern English county of Kent. Constructed circa 4000 BCE, during the Early Neolithic period of British prehistory, today it survives in a ruined state.

Archaeologists have established that the monument was built by pastoralist communities shortly after the introduction of agriculture to Britain from continental Europe. Although representing part of an architectural tradition of long barrow building that was widespread across Neolithic Europe, Kit's Coty House belongs to a localised regional variant of barrows produced in the vicinity of the River Medway, now known as the Medway Megaliths. Of these, it lies near to both Kit's Coty House and the Coffin Stone on the eastern side of the river. Three further surviving long barrows, Addington Long Barrow, Chestnuts Long Barrow, and Coldrum Long Barrow, are located west of the Medway.

Now a jumble of half-buried sarsen stones it is thought to have been a tomb similar to that of the Coldrum Stones. The name is derived from the belief that the chaotic pile of stones from the collapsed tomb were uncountable and various stories are told about the fate of those who tried. Another nearby site that may have been Neolithic is at Cossington.

There are between 19 and 21 stones depending on the authority. They were pushed over in the seventeenth century seemingly before any antiquarian interest was taken in them. William Stukeley attempted to reconstruct the damaged tomb in plan in the eighteenth century.

Archaeological evaluation trenching in 1989 found no clear evidence of any surrounding quarry ditch which would normally have been excavated to provide material for a covering barrow. Iron Age activity was found close by.

Long Burgh Long Barrow

Long Burgh Long Barrow, is an unchambered long barrow located near to the village of Alfriston in the south-eastern English county of East Sussex. Probably constructed in the fourth millennium BCE, during Britain's Early Neolithic period, today it survives only in a state of ruin.

Archaeologists have established that the monument was built by pastoralist communities shortly after the introduction of agriculture to Britain from continental Europe. Although representing part of an architectural tradition of long barrow building that was widespread across Neolithic Europe, the Long Burgh Long Barrow belongs to a localised regional variant of barrows produced on the chalk downlands of Sussex.

Long barrow

Long barrows, also known as chambered tombs, are a style of monument constructed across Western Europe in the fifth and fourth millennia BCE, during the Early Neolithic period. Typically constructed from earth and either timber or stone, those using the latter material represent the oldest widespread tradition of stone construction in the world.

The structures have an earthen tumulus, or "barrow", sometimes with a timber or stone chamber in one end. These monuments often contained human remains interred within their chambers, and as a result, are often interpreted as tombs, although there are some examples where this appears not to be the case. The choice of timber or stone may have arisen from the availability of local materials rather than cultural differences.

The earliest examples developed in Iberia and western France during the mid-fifth millennium BCE. The tradition then spread northwards, into the British Isles and then the Low Countries and southern Scandinavia. Each area developed its own variations of the long barrow tradition, often exhibiting their own architectural innovations.

The purpose and meaning of the barrows remains an issue of debate among archaeologists. One argument is that they are religious sites, perhaps erected as part of a system of ancestor veneration or as a religion spread by missionaries or settlers. An alternative explanation views them primarily in economic terms, as territorial markers delineating the areas controlled by different communities as they transitioned toward farming.

Around 40,000 chambered long barrows survive today. Many have been excavated by archaeologists, from whom our knowledge about them derives.

Notgrove Long Barrow

Notgrove Long Barrow is a prehistoric long barrow burial mound in Gloucestershire, England.

It consists of a large mound with a passage running through the centre and several small chambers opening off it. Human remains were interred in these chambers. It is unlikely that any of these remains are still within the mound, as the barrow was open for thousands of years before being sealed in 1976 to prevent further damage to the site.

Nympsfield Long Barrow

Nympsfield Long Barrow is the remains of a Neolithic burial site or barrow, located close to the village of Nympsfield in Gloucestershire, South West England.It lies at the edge of a woods, and is now the location of a picnic site. It is one of the earliest examples of a barrow with separate chambers. It was constructed around 2800 BCE.It is a Scheduled Monument (number 22857) in the guardianship of English Heritage.Many of the finds from excavations at this site are now in the Gloucester City Museum.

Smythe's Megalith

Smythe's Megalith, also known as the Warren Farm Chamber, was a chambered long barrow near the village of Aylesford in the south-eastern English county of Kent. Probably constructed in the 4th millennium BCE, during Britain's Early Neolithic period, it was discovered in 1822, at which point it was dismantled. Built out of earth and at least five local sarsen megaliths, the long barrow consisted of a roughly rectangular earthen tumulus with a stone chamber in its eastern end. Human remains were deposited into this chamber.

Archaeologists have established that the monument was built by pastoralist communities shortly after the introduction of agriculture to Britain from continental Europe. Although representing part of an architectural tradition of long barrow building widespread across Neolithic Europe, Smythe's Megalith belonged to a localised regional variant produced in the vicinity of the River Medway, now known as the Medway Megaliths. Several of these still survive: Coldrum Long Barrow, Addington Long Barrow, and Chestnuts Long Barrow are on the river's western side, while Kit's Coty House, the Little Kit's Coty House, and the Coffin Stone are on the eastern side nearer to Smythe's Megalith. Close to the site of the lost monument is the White Horse Stone, a standing stone that may have once been part of another chambered long barrow.

The site may have been ransacked during the Middle Ages, as other Medway Megaliths were. By the early 19th century it was buried beneath soil, largely due to millennia of hillwash coming down from the adjacent Blue Bell Hill. In 1822, it was discovered by farm labourers ploughing the land; the local antiquarians Clement Smythe and Thomas Charles were called in to examine it. Shortly after, the labourers pulled away the stones and dispersed most of the human remains, destroying the monument. Smythe and Charles produced, but did not publish, reports on their findings, and these have been discussed by archaeologists since the mid-20th century.

Spinsters' Rock

Spinsters' Rock (grid reference SX701907) is a Neolithic dolmen near Drewsteignton in Devon. It is situated on Shilstone Farm west of the village. It is near the A382 road. The dolmen consist of three granite supports rising to between 1.7 and 2.3 metres (5 ft 7 in and 7 ft 7 in) surmounted by a capstone measuring 4.5 by 3.1 metres (15 by 10 ft). The dolmen collapsed in 1862 but was restored in the same year. No finds were recorded.There are 18th-century antiquarian reports of nearby stone circles and alignments. These reports are considered to be of "dubious accuracy". There are some free-standing stones located nearby, although only two align with Spinsters' Rock.

Stoney Littleton Long Barrow

The Stoney Littleton Long Barrow (also known as the Bath Tumulus and the Wellow Tumulus) is a Neolithic chambered tomb with multiple burial chambers, located near the village of Wellow in the English county of Somerset. It is an example of the Cotswold-Severn Group and was scheduled as an ancient monument in 1882. It was one of the initial

monuments included when the Ancient Monuments Protection Act 1882 became law.The chambered long barrow was built around 3500 BC. Excavations in the early 19th century uncovered bones from several individuals. The stone structure is about 30 metres (98 ft) in length and contains a 12.8 metres (42 ft) long gallery with three pairs of side chambers and an end chamber.

The Grey Mare and her Colts

The Grey Mare and her Colts (grid reference SY584870) is a long barrow and burial chamber near Abbotsbury in Dorset, England.

Tinkinswood

Tinkinswood or its full name Tinkinswood Burial Chamber (Welsh: Siambr Gladdu Tinkinswood), also known as Castell Carreg, Llech-y-Filiast and Maes-y-Filiast, is a megalithic burial chamber, built around 6,000 BP (before Present), during the Neolithic period, in the Vale of Glamorgan, near Cardiff, Wales.

The structure is called a dolmen, which was the most common megalithic structure in Europe. The dolmen is of the Severn-Cotswold tomb type, and consists of a large capstone on top, with smaller upright stones supporting it. The limestone capstone at Tinkinswood weighs approximately 40 long tons and measures 24 feet (7.3 m) x 14 ft (4.3 m); it is thought to be the largest in Britain, and also in Europe. It would have taken some 200 people to lift the stone into the correct position. It was originally all covered by a mound of soil, which has been removed over time, now the remaining mound behind the structure measures approximately 130 ft (40 m) x 59 ft (18 m) in size.

Uley Long Barrow

Uley Long Barrow, also known locally as Hetty Pegler's Tump, is a Neolithic burial mound, near the village of Uley, Gloucestershire, England.

West Kennet Long Barrow

The West Kennet Long Barrow is a Neolithic tomb or barrow, situated on a prominent chalk ridge, near Silbury Hill, one-and-a-half miles south of Avebury in Wiltshire, England. The site was recorded by John Aubrey in the 17th century and by William Stukeley in the 18th century.

Archaeologists classify it as a chambered long barrow and one of the Severn-Cotswold tombs. It has two pairs of opposing transept chambers and a single terminal chamber used for burial. The stone burial chambers are located at one end of one of the longest barrows in Britain at 100 m: in total it is estimated that 15,700 man-hours were expended in its construction. The entrance consists of a concave forecourt with a facade made from large slabs of sarsen stones which were placed to seal entry towards the end of its life. Dry stone walling of oolitic limestone has been used to fill the gaps between the large sarsen stones. Such limestone does not occur locally and must have been transported from the Cotswold hills some 20-30 miles away.

White Horse Stone

The White Horse Stone is a name given to two separate sarsen megaliths on the slopes of Blue Bell Hill, near the village of Aylesford in the south-eastern English county of Kent. The Lower White Horse Stone was destroyed prior to 1834, at which the surviving Upper White Horse Stone took on its name and folkloric associations. Various archaeologists have suggested—although not proven—that the stones were each part of chambered long barrows constructed in the fourth millennium BCE, during Britain's Early Neolithic period.

If they were parts of a destroyed chambered long barrow, then the White Horse Stones would have been built by pastoralist communities shortly after the introduction of agriculture to Britain from continental Europe. Long barrow building was an architectural tradition widespread across Neolithic Europe although comprised various localised regional variants; one of these was in the vicinity of the River Medway, examples of which are now known as the Medway Megaliths. The White Horse Stones lie on the eastern side of the river, along with the chambered long barrows of Little Kit's Coty House, Kit's Coty House, the (now destroyed) Smythe's Megalith, and a fourth possible example, the Coffin Stone. Three other examples, the Coldrum Long Barrow, Addington Long Barrow, and Chestnuts Long Barrow, remain on the western side of the river. Excavation has revealed the existence of an Early Neolithic longhouse near to the stone.

By the 19th century, antiquarians were speculating that the Lower White Horse Stone may have taken its name from the White Horse of Kent, which they in turn believed was the flag of the legendary fifth-century Anglo-Saxon warriors Hengest and Horsa. Subsequent historical research has not accepted this interpretation. After the stone was destroyed, the stories associated with it were transposed to a nearby sarsen boulder, which became known as the Upper White Horse Stone. Since at least the 1980s, the latter has been viewed as a sacred site by various Folkish Heathen groups, namely the Odinic Rite, because of its folkloric associations with Hengest and Horsa and the Anglo-Saxon Migration. As well as performing rituals there, they have opposed vandalism of the stone and campaigned to stop development in the vicinity.

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