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Name:LONG BARROW, near Galley Hill
HER No.:118
Type of Record:Monument

Summary

A possible long barrow, lying beside the Icknield Way. The mound was destroyed in the early 20th century but a large oval feature was visible as a cropmark on air photos in the 1960s and 1970s, from which it appeared to be approx 300ft long, twice the normal size of long barrows in the region. The air photos also show the feature lying on a linear geological feature. The line of the Icknield Way curves around the eastern end of the feature.

No finds were observed when the mound was destroyed, nor when the area was levelled in 1975 to form part of a golf course.

Grid Reference:TL 086 267
Parish:STREATLEY, CENTRAL BEDFORDSHIRE, BEDFORDSHIRE
Map:Show location on Streetmap

Full Description

English Heritage Alternative Action Report, Copleston, P.J. (Unpublished document). SBD13228.

The whole area to the north west of the prehstoric trackway is now a golf course, and the ground works are landscaped. No surface remains are visible. Due to the depth of the sand-filled bunker, it is highly unlikely that any buried features associated with the Long Barrow survive.

NMR/AMIE, HE NRHE Monument Inventory, 359545 (Index). SBD12367.

A Neolithic long barrow formerly stood to the west of Galley Hill. It was destroyed circa 1900, something witnessed by a Mr A Cumberland of the Dartford Antiquarian Society. No finds were observed at the time. According to James Dyer "Air photographs suggest that the barrow was 300 ft long, but this is much larger than normal in the Chilterns, and 150 ft is more reasonable" (!). Ordnance Survey field investigation in 1973 confirmed that no surface traces existed.

Council for British Archaeology, South Midlands Archaeology, Vol 19, 1989, p. 9 (Serial). SBD10576.

An oval enclosure was recorded as a cropmark by James Dyer in the 1970's near the foot of the south-east facing slope of Galley Hill. A surface collection survey covering this area in January 1989 produced three Iron Age and two Romano-British sherds, along with 14 later Neolithic-Bronze Age flints. A thin layer of colluvium is likely to overlie the site, protecting it from further plough damage.

Bedfordshire County Archaeology Service, 1995, Luton East Circular Northern Section: Specialist Report On Archaeology, 95/19 (Archaeological Report). SBD12342.

<1> Bedfordshire Archaeological Council, Bedfordshire Archaeological Journal, Vol 2, 1964, p. 25 (Bibliographic reference). SBD10569.

Long barrow on Galley Hill, Streatley, recently located from air (Beds Arch 1, 14; Arch J 116, 14 - no 22)

<2> W Austin, 1928, History of Luton, p. 15 (Bibliographic reference). SBD10898.

Austin mentions a ?ploughed out long barrow "at the foot of Warden Hill"

<3> Royal Archaeological Institute, Archaeological Journal, CXVI, 1961, p. 14 (J. F. Dyer) (Article in serial). SBD10785.

Long Barrow, Galley Hill - 200 yds N of Drays Ditch, TL 086268, 300ft long, 40ft wide, orientated E-W. Destruction witnessed by A. Cumberland c.1900. Rediscovered from air (JFD). Icknield Way curves round eastern end of it.

<4> Bedfordshire Archaeological Council, Bedfordshire Archaeological Journal, Vol 2, 1964, p. 9 (Bibliographic reference). SBD10569.

Barrow destroyed c.1900, lay to W of Galley Hill. The destruction of the barrow was witnessed by the late Mr A. Cumberland of the Dartford Antiquarian Soc. No finds observed.

<5> Bedfordshire Archaeological Council, Bedfordshire Archaeological Journal, 2, 1964, p. 25 (N Thomas) (Bibliographic reference). SBD10569.

Air photos suggest that this barrow was 300' long but this is much larger than normal in the Chilterns, 150' is more reasonable.

<6> James Dyer, F Stygall, John Dony, 1964, The Story of Luton, p. 6 (Bibliographic reference). SBD10900.

Long barrow "lay beside the Icknield Way at the foot of Galley Hill" but has been destroyed.

<7> James F. Dyer, Comments, 1975 (Observations and Comments). SBD10907.

Site levelled for Golf Course in 1975 and new bunker constructed at approx. position. Should not be confused with original barrow mound.

<8> Ordnance Survey, Ordnance Survey Archaeology Record Cards, OS: TL 02 NE 10, 11 (Unpublished document). SBD10879.

TL 086268. Long barrow, destroyed about 1900, lay to the west of Galley Hill, whee the Icknield Way is deflected round its eastern end. The destruction was witnessed by the late Mr A Cumberland of the Dartford Antiquarian Society. No finds were observed. APs suggest the barrow was 300 ft long, but 150 ft is more reasonable. (Not visible on available APs). (Bedfordshire Archaeological Journal, Dyer, JF. A Secondary Neolithic Camp at Waulud's Bank, Leagrave, 1964)
No surface features visible. The ground is at present under crops and ploughed annually. PAS 23-AUG-73

<9> 1974, Hunting Aerial Photos 1974, 10/2568 (Aerial Photograph). SBD10649.

Cropmark as ref (11)

<10> Correspondence, Letter from J. Dyer, 13/10/1981 (Unpublished document). SBD10802.

…The Galley Hill long barrow showed up on a wartime air ministry photograph which I no longer have. I clearly remember it as a dark oval, with a white edging around it, very much suggesting no ditch, but with a scraped mound, as in the local round barrows. Prior to that I had received a letter from an old gentleman who remembered the position of the mound when a boy. The modern track of the Icknield Way bent round it, and this can still be seen on the enclosed plan. However, about six years ago the site of the barrow was levelled to make a fairway for a golf course. I visited the freshly bulldozed site and could find nothing to confirm that there ever had been a barrow there, neither change of soil colour, or scatter of flints. I therefore feel that we shall never know for sure, unless someone turns up with more aerial cover.

<11> RAF, 1945-1955, RAF Aerial Photos, 58/1342: F22/0222; UK 1897:, 3243-3244, 4214-4215, 4243-4244 (Aerial Photograph). SBD10536.

Vague oval CM at TL 086 267, adjacent to or part of a ?geological linear feature.

<12> 1968, Hunting Aerial Photos 1968, 11/7509-7510 (Aerial Photograph). SBD10637.

Cropmark as ref (11)

<13> Angela Simco, Comments, March 1982 (Observations and Comments). SBD10509.

Sketch plot of cropmarks taken from aerial photographs

<14> Correspondence, Letter from A Simco, 2/11/1981 (Unpublished document). SBD10802.

…I think that there is (or was) something on the site, but that the evidence for a long barrow is far from conclusive. I have plotted the visible marks (and enclose a copy o fthe plan). There is indeed a vague oval feature, but it is rather on the large size, and the picture is complicated by it being located on some sort of geological feature also appearing as an indistinct cropmark. However, the slight diversion of the Icknield Way bears witness to the antiquity of the oval feature, as I am inclined to believe that this stretch of the Icknield Way alignment was established on its modern line by, or at least during, the Roman period.

<15> Bedfordshire County Council, Planning Dept File (Unpublished document). SBD11426.

Details of owner of site

Protected Status:

  • SHINE: Neolithic long barrow near Galley Hill

Monument Type(s):

Associated Finds

  • FBD15554 - LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Late Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 3000 BC to 701 BC)
  • FBD15552 - SHERD (Late Bronze Age to Late Iron Age - 800 BC to 42 AD)
  • FBD15553 - SHERD (Roman/Romano-British - 43 AD to 409 AD)

Associated Events

  • EBD1200 - Luton East Circular Northern Section: Specialist Report on Archaeology (Ref: 95/19)

Sources and Further Reading

---SBD10576 - Serial: Council for British Archaeology. South Midlands Archaeology. Vol 19, 1989, p. 9.
---SBD12342 - Archaeological Report: Bedfordshire County Archaeology Service. 1995. Luton East Circular Northern Section: Specialist Report On Archaeology. 95/19. 95/19.
---SBD12367 - Index: NMR/AMIE. HE NRHE Monument Inventory. 359545.
---SBD13228 - Unpublished document: English Heritage Alternative Action Report. Copleston, P.J..
[1]SBD10569 - Bibliographic reference: Bedfordshire Archaeological Council. Bedfordshire Archaeological Journal. Vol 2, 1964, p. 25.
[2]SBD10898 - Bibliographic reference: W Austin. 1928. History of Luton. p. 15.
[3]SBD10785 - Article in serial: Royal Archaeological Institute. Archaeological Journal. CXVI, 1961, p. 14 (J. F. Dyer).
[4]SBD10569 - Bibliographic reference: Bedfordshire Archaeological Council. Bedfordshire Archaeological Journal. Vol 2, 1964, p. 9.
[5]SBD10569 - Bibliographic reference: Bedfordshire Archaeological Council. Bedfordshire Archaeological Journal. 2, 1964, p. 25 (N Thomas).
[6]SBD10900 - Bibliographic reference: James Dyer, F Stygall, John Dony. 1964. The Story of Luton. p. 6.
[7]SBD10907 - Observations and Comments: James F. Dyer. Comments. 1975.
[8]SBD10879 - Unpublished document: Ordnance Survey. Ordnance Survey Archaeology Record Cards. OS: TL 02 NE 10, 11.
[9]SBD10649 - Aerial Photograph: 1974. Hunting Aerial Photos 1974. 10/2568.
[10]SBD10802 - Unpublished document: Correspondence. Letter from J. Dyer, 13/10/1981.
[11]SBD10536 - Aerial Photograph: RAF. 1945-1955. RAF Aerial Photos. 58/1342: F22/0222; UK 1897:, 3243-3244, 4214-4215, 4243-4244.
[12]SBD10637 - Aerial Photograph: 1968. Hunting Aerial Photos 1968. 11/7509-7510.
[13]SBD10509 - Observations and Comments: Angela Simco. Comments. March 1982.
[14]SBD10802 - Unpublished document: Correspondence. Letter from A Simco, 2/11/1981.
[15]SBD11426 - Unpublished document: Bedfordshire County Council. Planning Dept File.