Coldrum Megalithic Tomb, Trottiscliffe


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013069

Date first listed: 09-Oct-1981

Date of most recent amendment: 07-Sep-1990


Ordnance survey map of Coldrum Megalithic Tomb, Trottiscliffe
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Kent

District: Tonbridge and Malling (District Authority)

Parish: Trottiscliffe

National Grid Reference: TQ 65432 60722


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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.

Coldrum, although an atypical example, belongs with the group of burial mounds known as the Medway Megaliths. It survives well and has high archaeological potential due to the survival of much of the earthen mound. In addition, it is relatively well documented and is of high amenity value.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument is situated at the head of a coombe below the scarp face of the North Downs on land in which sarsen stones occur naturally. The east end of the monument has been damaged by quarrying which has resulted in several sarsen boulders slipping down from the area of the monument proper. The burial chamber lies at the east end of a short rectangular area formed by a kerb of sarsen stones. The most distinctive feature of the monument is the burial chamber which is formed by four very large slabs of sarsen arranged in a square formation. A capping stone would have completed the chamber, but this has since been lost to erosion or stone-robbing. In this chamber the bones of at least 24 individuals were found when it was excavated in 1922. The burial chamber is surrounded by a kerb, or revetting wall, of at least 21 sarsen stones which probably once stood upright and prevented the slumping of the high earthen mound with which the burial chamber was itself covered. The mound still survives today as a raised area within the kerb, standing perhaps 0.5m above the general ground level. The whole surviving monument measures 30m E-W and 22m N-S. Excavations in the 19th century, in 1910 and most extensively in 1922 recovered few artefacts with which to date the monument, but it can be parallelled in many respects, apart from its unusually small length, in the group of Neolithic Long Barrows which cluster around the northern side of the Medway Valley. On all sides the hedge or fence which indicates the position of the constraint line is itself excluded from the scheduling. The display boards and protective fencing within the scheduled area are also excluded.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 12768

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Wilkins, E F, 'Antiquaries Journal' in Antiquaries Journal, , Vol. 8, (1928)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Long Barrows, (1989)
Pagination 12, Holgate, R, A Management and Research Design for the Medway Megaliths, Report for DoE, (1981)
TQ 66 SE 2,

End of official listing