Just a brief one for today as I have, erm, not an awful lot to do on this dismal Bank Holiday Monday morning!
Following on from the end of my recent walk in the Cotswolds; I’d spotted a previously-unknown long barrow with the English Heritage symbol next to it. This was only a few miles to the east and so, at the end of my walk, I took a twenty-minute drive out of my way towards Stow-on-the-Wold, in the hopes of visiting Notgrove Long Barrow.
There are several ancient long barrows sited along the eastern half of the Cotswold Hills. Here, I’m referring to mounds that are accessible for the public and currently maintained by English Heritage.
It was easy enough to spot the familiar brown signs from the road and, although there was no official car park (as with many of these protected rural sites), a large lay-by adorns the roadside and in spite of the fact it was part-filled with stone piled high, there’s room for a good half-a-dozen cars or so.
At the western end of the lay-by, you’ll spot the public byway that grants access to the barrow.
There was no path to indicate the exact location of the mound so I continued following the byway, as the path remained clear yet increasingly enclosed from each side… After ten minutes of scratches and stings, I dug out the OS map from my bag and realised I’d made a foolish mistake, having walked much too far.
Turning back, I realised it could only have been behind the maintained wooden gates, which you’ll find on the left, almost immediately after leaving the roadside.
Beyond the gates, you’re greeted immediately by a text-only information board [I thought I took a photo but now, it seems to be hidden]. Just pass that is a mound over-run with unkempt grass…
To be brutally honest, it was quite a disappointment, having visited other long barrows in the past year where you could even crawl inside. Apparently, there was an passageway running down the centre with burial chambers branching off on either side… But the mound has since been sealed (in 1976) in order to maintain what remains after thousands of years.
Several websites also reveal that human remains were discovered here and that it dates back to prehistoric times, making it one of the more ancient mounds around.
…It would be nice if someone would cut the grass!
It’s the kind of site that may appeal to a Completionist, looking to visit them all. Or perhaps to a person who believes in the ‘energy’ of such ancient and historic sites. I can say I’ve been there are probably won’t return again.
View from the lay-by.
But it is somewhat reassuring to know that this site remains protected, has not been flatted or built over and should hopefully remain so for decades, if not hundreds of years to come.
Thanks for reading and, erm, don’t expect too much from Notgrove Long Barrow.