Long barrow

A long barrow is a roughly rectangular or trapezoidal mound of earth and/or stone, usually between 25m and 120m long, with a length exceeding twice its greatest width. The mound may be edged with a timber or stone revetment, and there is frequently a facade at the higher and/or wider end of the monument. The majority of long barrows contain one or more stone or wooden burial chambers which occupy a small portion of the total structure. The tradition of building and using long barrows seems to have spanned the middle Neolithic period, broadly 3000 BC to 2400 BC, a total of perhaps five or six centuries. Many long barrows seem to have been used for communal burial rites. Burial chambers are often found to contain jumbled human bone, suggesting that once bodies had decomposed the bones were moved around inside the barrow or taken out and used in ceremonies.

Neolithic long barrow on Broome Heath looking north. Note the figure standing beside the barrow for scale

Neolithic long barrow on Broome Heath looking north. Note the figure standing beside the barrow for scale.

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