Duck's Nest: a long barrow on Rockbourne Down


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Duck's Nest: a long barrow on Rockbourne Down
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

New Forest (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SU 10455 20387

Reasons for Designation

Long barrows were constructed as earthen or drystone mounds with flanking ditches and acted as funerary monuments during the Early and Middle Neolithic periods (3400-2400 BC). 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 parts of the human remains having been selected for interment. Certain sites provide evidence for several phases of funerary monument preceding the barrow and, consequently, it is probable that long barrows 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 important.

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. Duck's Nest is important as it survives well and is one of several long barrows in the immediate area. Such clusters are significant as they give an indication of the intensity with which areas were settled during the Neolithic period.


The monument includes a long barrow set on a ridge-top with extensive views to the east and west. The monument tapers slightly in plan and is orientated SSE-NNW with the broader end facing SSE. The barrow mound survives to a length of 44m and a width of 17.5m at the south end and 12m wide at the north end. It stands 2.4m high above narrow sloping berms and 4.8m above two curving side ditches, from which mound material was quarried and which are 14m wide and 0.5m deep. The berms survive to an average width of 1.5m. A difference in height of 1.7m between the surface of the berms and the ground level outside the ditches suggests that the mound may have been built on a small knoll on the hill top. The site is visible from three other long barrows, at Knap barrow and Grans barrow, 1.5km to the SW and a long barrow on Little Toyd Down 2.3km to the NW.

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.

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Books and journals
Smith, I F , Long Barrows in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, (1979), 50-1


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

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