White Barrow

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White Barrow

White Barrow is a large Neolithic long barrow situated on a chalk ridge on Salisbury Plain just outside the village of Tilshead in Wiltshire. It is a scheduled monument, and is owned by the National Trust. It was the first ancient monument to be purchased by the Trust.


White Barrow is 77.5 m long and approximately 47 m wide (including the surrounding ditch). It has never been fully excavated, but dating of materials found in and around it suggests that it dates from 3500-4000 BC, making it contemporary with other long barrows on Salisbury Plain, as well as the nearby causewayed enclosure Robin Hood's Ball. The antiquarian Colt Hoare opened the mound in the 19th Century and found areas of black earth that he believed to be the remains of a wooden structured burial chamber.[1]

National Trust Purchase[edit]

White Barrow was the first piece of land that the National Trust acquired purely in the interests of archaeological conservation. Prior to that, the Trust had mainly been concerned with open spaces, houses and gardens. The barrow, along with 2.75 acres (11,100 m2) of land was purchased by subscription in 1909 for the sum of £60, at a time when the MoD was rapidly buying up land around it as part of Salisbury Plain Training Area.[2]

Badger Exclusion[edit]

In 1998 a family of seven badgers was evicted from a sett they had dug into the barrow. A badger exclusion licence was obtained from English Nature, and English Heritage gave scheduled monument consent. The badgers were lured to a new sett outside of the property, and the barrow was covered in chain link fencing to prevent animals from burrowing into it again. Finds in the badger spoil from the old sett included struck flints, Neolithic and Bronze Age pottery, and part of a red deer antler.[3]

See also[edit]


Coordinates: 51°13′15″N 1°57′15″W / 51.2208°N 1.9543°W / 51.2208; -1.9543