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Cotswolds Prehistoric Sites in the Cotswolds

There are many interesting prehistoric sites in the Cotswolds - stone circles, standing stones, dolmen, long barrows, hill forts. The two best sites are the Rollright Stones (stone circle and a dolmen) near Chipping Norton in the north-east Cotswolds, and Belas Knapp (long barrow) near Winchecombe in the north Cotswolds.

The Cotswold-Severn group of neolithic long barrows (chambered tombs) are located on the Cotswold escarpment above the River Severn. Below I have listed three of them - Belas Knap Long Barrow, Nympsfield Long Barrow and the Uley Long Barrow. There are almost 100 of them along the escarpment.

Rollright Stones

The Rollright Stones combine three prehistoric sites: a stone circle, a standing stone and a dolmen. The group is located in a field near the village of Little Rollright on the northeastern edge of the Cotswolds. The stones are small (nothing like Avebury or Stonehenge), but this is a good site to visit if you are in the area.

The three parts of the Rollright Stones:
  • King's Men. Late Neolithic stone circle, dating from 2500 to 2000 BC. The site entrance is at this stone circle.
  • King Stone. Single standing stone, across the lane from the stone circle. It is also across the county border, in Warwickshire.
  • Whispering Knights. 5,000 year old dolmen (burial chamber).
Location: England - Oxfordshire - Little Rollright
Located on a country lane in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds, north of Chipping Norton, west off the A3400 in the direction of Little Rollright. Entrance is at the King's Men stone circle. The King Stone is on the other side of the lane. Whispering Knights is east of the stone circle on the same side of the lane, down a short path. There is an admission fee. Check the website to see if you pay onsite or online.

Website: The Rollright Stones

Google Map

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Rollright Stone Circle.

Other sites in this area:
These other prehistoric sites are nearby in the north-east Cotswolds.

Hawk Stone: Single standing stone (8 feet high) in a field near the hamlet of Dean.

Hoar Stone: Three stones, remains of prehistoric burial chamber, in bushes south of Enstone.

Belas Knap Long Barrow

Belas Knap is a neolithic long barrow (3800 BC) featuring a false entrance and side chambers. It was excavated in the 1860s. Belas Knap is one of the Cotswold-Severn group of long barrows, located on the Cotswold escarpment above the River Severn.

Location: England - Gloucestershire - Winchcombe
Located on the long distance trail, the Cotswold Way, south of Winchcombe (1hr walk).
By car, it is accessible from a lane off the B4632 (signed) south of Winchcombe. Park along the side of the lane and walk up to the long barrow (15min uphill walk).

Website: English Heritage - Belas Knap Long Barrow

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Belas Knap Long Barrow.

Nympsfield Long Barrow

The Nympsfield Long Barrow is a neolithic chambered tomb built 5000 years ago by the first farming community in this area. The remains of 17 people were found when it was excavated. Iron Age and Roman pottery were also found. In recent times its stones were removed and it was partly destroyed. Excavations took place in 1937 and 1974. You can now see the entrance way stones and the shape of the long barrow.

The Nympsfield Long Barrow is one of the Cotswold-Severn group of long barrows, located on the Cotswold escarpment above the River Severn.

Location: England - Gloucestershire - Nympsfield
On the B4066 between Stroud and Uley. Road signs point to the Coaley Peak Viewpoint and the Nympsfield Long Barrow on the west side near the Nympsfield turn-off. There is a large parking lot. This is a popular area for picnics and enjoying the views to the Severn Valley and Dursley.

The Uley Long Barrow is only 1/2 mile south off the B4066. To walk there, follow the Cotswold Way trail and when you come to the first road, continue along the edge of the B4066 instead of following the trail into the woods. The Cotswold Way passes below the Uley Long Barrow and there is no way to walk up to it. Or drive to it. It is signed and there is parking in the field.

Website: English Heritage - Nympsfield Long Barrow

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Nympsfield Long Barrow.

Uley Long Barrow

The Uley Long Barrow, also called Hetty Pegler's Tump after the 17th century landowner, is a neolithic chambered tomb on the Cotswold Escarpment. This long barrow has a better preserved covered chamber than the nearby Nympsfield Long Barrow. The Uley Long Barrow is one of the Cotswold-Severn group of long barrows, located on the Cotswold escarpment above the River Severn.

Location: England - Gloucestershire - Uley
Located on the B4066 between Stroud and Uley. Road signs point to the Uley Long Barrow on the west side near the Nympsfield turn-off. Park on a dirt lane beside a field.
The Nympsfield Long Barrow and Coaley Hill Viewpoint are only 1/2 mile north off the B4066.

Website: English Heritage - Uley Long Barrow

Google Map

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Uley Long Barrow (Hetty Pegler's Tump).

Other sites in this area:
These other prehistoric sites are nearby in the South Cotswolds.

Uley - Uleybury Hill Fort: Large hill fort near Uley Long Barrow. This is on the Cotswold Way Long Distance trail.

Little Sodbury - Little Sodbury Hill Fort: Another large hill fort on the Cotswold Way Long Distance trail.

Avening - Burial Chambers: 1/4 mile north of the Avening church are three burial chambers. One has a "porthole" entrance.
See the Ordnance Survey map for location.

Hampton Fields - The Long Stone: Prehistoric standing stone in a field near Hampton Fields.

Minchinhampton - Bulwarks: Iron age earthworks on the northern edge of Minchinhampton, on the commons.
See the Ordnance Survey map for location.

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