Nympsfield Long Barrow, Coaley Peak, Gloucestershire

Nympsfield Long Barrow, Gloucestershire

Built c.3800 BC from local stone. Originally about 2m (6ft.) high. Probably used as burial chambers for about two centuries before being having entrance filled in. Excavated in 1862 and 1937. Reconstructed to present form in 1974.

Visited by Sir John Maclean, Vice-President of the Royal Archeological Institute on 22nd July 1880 who reported that

Nympsfield Long Barrow Plan Sketch (1880)

“The human remains found in the Nympsfield tumulus shewed that there were not fewer than sixteen bodies therein interred. “These,” Professor Buckman sayy, ” varied in size and in ago from very old to young men and women, with a few remnants of the bones of children; so that whatever may be true as regards other tumuli of this period having been erected in honour of a chieftain here it s e e n quite certain that we have the remains of a family or tribe.

Among the bones found in this tumulus was one skull which is described by Dr. Thurnam as a large and finely-developed skull of a man of middle age of dolicho-cephalic type, one broken calvarium of still more decidedly dolicho-cephalic character, and fragments of, at least, ten other crania.”

Description of the Chambered Tumuli of Uley and Nympsfield by J. MacleanTransactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, 1880-81, Vol. 5, 86-118

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