Hetty Pegler’s Tump (Uley Long Barrow)

by Sarah - Craft Invaders

Uley Long Barrow

Uley Long Barrow, also known locally as Hetty Pegler’s Tump, is a Neolithic burial mound, near the village of Uley, Gloucestershire. It is thought to be at least 5,000 years old, and is one of a number of Cotswold-Severn Long Barrows that are under the care of English Heritage. It is a scheduled National Monument, and having undergone repairs and further archaeological examination in 2011, is free to anyone who wishes to visit.

Infront of Uley Long Barrow

The first recorded archaeological excavation of the site was in 1821, when workmen discovered it while digging for stone to use in road building. At that time it is recorded that the remains of 15 skeletons, plus the jaw bones of wild boar and neolithic pottery were found within the tomb, while a single skeleton, believed to be a later intrusive Roman burial, was discovered just below the surface of the mound. In 1854, further excavations revealed more human remains within the structure including nine human skulls as well as animal teeth and boar tusks. Throughout the rest of the 19th Century the barrow underwent various episodes of repair and reconstruction which shaped what we see here today.

Entrance to Uley Long Barrow

We decided to visit as my daughter is currently studying early man at school. The site has open access, and is situated in a farmer’s field. The mound looks impressive as you approach it, and we were hugely excited when we spotted the entrance – although we knew we’d be able to go into it, seeing the tiny opening on the side of the great mound was still an adventure, if you do decide to visit you really must take a torch!

Uley Long Barrow from inside

As you can see from our photos, entering the tump is not an elegant process, so I’d advise wearing jeans and making sure the person with the camera is not behind you!

Looking into Uley Long Barrow fron just inside

Originally there would have been two pairs of chambers (one pair on each side) and an end chamber off the gallery you enter into. The pair on the right of the entrance are blocked off, but the others are accessible. Where it looks as though there is a crack on the left hand side is one of the chambers, with the other just behind the standing stone.

Inside Uley Long Barrow

My daughter was able to stand up inside, this is one of the side chambers. Not surprisingly, the Barrow feels very atmospheric. It was a pretty cold, miserable day when we visited, but inside felt very calm, still and quiet.  Although we knew that it had been built as a tomb, it didn’t feel an unpleasant place to be. We tried hard to imagine what a task it must have been to build such a structure, knowing what we know about how people lived back then, and how important this place must have been to them.

Spider Nest inside Uley Long Barrow

We then noticed a number of these sacs hanging from the roof. My guess is that they are spider nests, but if anyone knows for sure we’d love to know.

Nympsfield Long Barrow - Instagram

We also went and had a look at Nympsfield Long Barrow, which is less than a mile away. As you can see from our photo this one is exposed, which means that although it doesn’t have the magic of Hetty’s Tump, it does give you the opportunity to see it’s shape really well. You can also see the view from here, that originally both barrows would have looked over – and even on a miserable day it’s pretty breath-taking!

Coaley Point


The South West has an abundance of ancient historical sites that you can visit for free. Check out our visits to  Avebury, Barbury Castle and Cirencester Roman Amphitheatre for more inspiration.

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Chris April 16, 2017 - 5:55 pm

Lots of black bodied medium sized spiders from the roof. Not sure on the species

Sarah - Craft Invaders April 24, 2017 - 10:53 am

Oh thank you Chris, I thought they must be spider nests 🙂

Debs @ Super Busy Mum February 9, 2016 - 10:27 pm

This is VERY cool. I love historical finds and I think finding places like this is amazing for kids to explore too! Thanks so much for linking up with #MMWBH

Sarah - Craft Invaders February 9, 2016 - 11:07 pm

It’s great isn’t it, and I love the fact its just sitting in a field and there’s open access to it. Thanks for having us x

Mrs Tubbs February 4, 2016 - 12:28 pm

What a fantastic free adventure! I wonder if we’ve anything similar near us … I’ll have to go look. Thank you 🙂

Sarah - Craft Invaders February 5, 2016 - 7:59 pm

It really was an adventure, venturing in by ourselves – we felt quite brave! I believe there’s quite a lot scattered around the country so hopefully you’ll find one near you 🙂

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