East Kennett long barrow, 600m south of East Kennett church
- Heritage Category:
- Scheduled Monument
- List Entry Number:
- Date first listed:
- Date of most recent amendment:
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
- Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
- East Kennett
- National Grid Reference:
- SU 11630 66843
Reasons for Designation
Long barrows were constructed as earthen or drystone mounds with flanking
ditches and acted as funerary monuments during the early Neolithic period
(3000 - 2400bc). They represent the burial places of Britain's early farming
communities and, as such, are amongst the oldest field monuments surviving
visibly in the present landscape. Where investigated, long barrows appear to
have been used for communal burial, often with only partial human remains
selected for interment. Certain sites provide evidence for several phases of
funerary monument preceding the barrow and, consequently, it is probable that
long bar rows acted as important ritual sites for local communities over a
considerable period of time. Some 500 long barrows are recorded in England.
As one of the few types of Neolithic structure to survive as earthworks,
and due to their comparative rarity, their considerable age and their
longevity as a monument type, all long barrows are considered to be nationally
The 180 long barrows of Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset form the densest and one of the most significant concentrations of monuments of this type in the country. East Kennett long barrow is important because, despite partial excavation of the site in the past, it survives particularly well and has significant potential for the recovery of archaeological remains. Also as one of several long barrows and other contemporary monument types occurring in the immediate area, it illustrates the intensity with which the area was settled during the Neolithic period.
The monument includes a long barrow set below the crest of a gentle north-
east facing slope. It survives as a substantial earthwork orientated north-
west/south-east and is broadly rectangular in plan. The barrow mound is flat
topped. It survives to 106m long, 50m wide and stands to a height of c.8m at
the south-east end and 4m at the north-west end. Flanking ditches, from
which material was quarried during the construction of the monument, run
parallel to the south-west and north-east sides of the mound and survive to
a width of c.5m. These have become infilled over the years but survive as a
low earthwork on the north-east side of the mound and as a buried feature to
the south-west. The monument has been partially excavated, both by the Rev.
M Connor in the 19th century and later by Thurnham. No details are known.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
- Legacy System number:
- Legacy System:
Books and journals
'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine: Volume 79, , Vol. 79, (), 11
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing