|Combe Gibbet and Long Barrow|
|Type||Gibbet and Long barrow|
|OS grid reference|
|Official name||Long barrow at Combe Gibbet, Gallows Down.|
|Designated||26 August 1924|
The gibbet is located at grid reference , on the Test Way close to the Berkshire-Hampshire border, it is named after the village of Combe, but it is also close to Inkpen. The nearest sizeable town is Newbury in Berkshire. It is built on top of a long barrow known as the Inkpen long barrow. The long barrow is 60 m long and 22 m wide, and is a Scheduled Monument. Walbury Hill (the highest point in South East England) is just a little further to the east.
It was erected in 1676 for the purpose of gibbeting the bodies of George Broomham and Dorothy Newman and has only ever been used for them. The gibbet was placed in such a prominent location as a warning, to deter others from committing crimes.
Broomham and Newman were having an affair and were hanged for murdering Broomham's wife Martha, and their son Robert after they discovered them together on the downs. Unfortunately for the lovers, the murder was witnessed by "Mad Thomas", who managed to convey what he had seen to the authorities. The pair were hanged in Winchester before being gibbeted at Combe.
Tourism and leisure
Nowadays it is a popular local tourist attraction with good views of the surrounding area. It is also popular with hang gliders and paragliders. The hill is frequently used by the Thames Valley Hang Gliding and Paragliding Club.
The Combe Gibbet is also the start of a scenic 16-mile (26 km) off-road race to Overton organised by the Overton Harriers and Athletic Club. The race, which is typically in late March / early April of each year, is one of the few true off-road point to point running races in the UK, coaches taking competitors to the start.
The "Combe Gibbet" Race takes in the highest hill in the South East of England, Walbury Hill; the highest in Hampshire, Pilot Hill; as well as Ladle Hill and the edge of Watership Down before entering Overton the source of the River Test.
View from Combe Gibbet, looking north over the Kennet Valley
View from Combe Gibbet, looking east towards Walbury Hill
- Historic England. "Long barrow at Combe Gibbet, Gallows Down. (1013198)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 24 July 2021.
- "Combe Gibbet - MWB1574". Heritage Gateway. West Berkshire Council. Retrieved 24 July 2021.
- L. V. Grinsell (1940). "An Analysis and List of Berkshire Barrows" (PDF). Berkshire Archaeological Journal. Berkshire Archaeological Society (40): 55–56. doi:10.5284/1000017. Archived (PDF) from the original on 25 January 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2021.
- F. M. Underhill (1946). "Notes on Recent Antiquarian Discoveries in Berkshire" (PDF). Berkshire Archaeological Journal. Berkshire Archaeological Society (49): 51. doi:10.5284/1000017. Retrieved 24 July 2021.
- "Combe Gibbet". Hungerford Virtual Museum. Archived from the original on 7 February 2021. Retrieved 24 July 2021.
- "Spirit of the South: The hilltop with more than a grisly tale to tell". www.itv.com. ITV. 29 August 2018. Archived from the original on 31 August 2019. Retrieved 24 July 2021.
- "Combe Gibbet - MWB1576". Heritage Gateway. West Berkshire Council. Archived from the original on 30 May 2021. Retrieved 24 July 2021.
- "Berkshire Way - Hungerford to Combe Gibbet". bbc.co.uk. BBC. Archived from the original on 1 June 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2021.
- "Unveiling the new Combe gibbet" (PDF). Newbury Weekly News. 1992. Archived (PDF) from the original on 6 February 2021. Retrieved 24 July 2021.
- Steele, Jacqueline (27 June 2021). "Combe Gibbet: The wooden post in Berkshire with a grim history". www.getreading.co.uk. GetReading. Archived from the original on 7 July 2021. Retrieved 24 July 2021.