Arthur’s Stone Long Barrow, near Bredwardine, Dorstone, Herefordshire
Text by Tim Darvill
Set on the northern edge of a narrow upland ridge with commanding views, Arthur’s Stone long barrow has been partly obliterated by the modern road and stone robbing over many centuries. Originally, the mound was probably orientated roughly north to south. It would have been about 26m long, perhaps 10m wide and up to 3m high. What remains to view is the stone chamber, stripped of its covering mound. Nine orthostats form the walls and support a massive capstone. Now cracked and broken into three pieces, this block of Old Red Sandstone must originally have weighed 25 tons or more.
A short passage provides access to the chamber from the northwest; between the passage and chamber, bridging the different orientations of the two parts of the structure, is a small antechamber. No traces of the roofing arrangements for passage or antechamber survive.
South of the chamber are a series of earthfast sandstone slabs that George Nash has quite reasonably suggested may relate to a portal structure of some kind in the back of the forecourt. O.G.S. Crawford suggested that one of these uprights bears traces of rock art in the form of cup-marks, but these could be natural.
SO 3780 4313. 1km N of Dorstone. Accessible by signposted minor roads from the B4348 at Dorstone or the B4352 at Bredwardine. Roadside parking. English Heritage.
Further reading: Crawford 1925, 147-9 (C60); Watkins 1928; Hemp 1935; Nash 2003.