Longbury long barrow 600m north west of Slaughtergate Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013680

Date first listed: 10-Sep-1956

Date of most recent amendment: 22-Apr-1996


Ordnance survey map of Longbury long barrow 600m north west of Slaughtergate Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Dorset

District: North Dorset (District Authority)

Parish: Gillingham

National Grid Reference: ST 78746 27231


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 examples of long barrows and long cairns, their counterparts in the uplands, are recorded nationally. 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 Longbury long barrow is a comparatively well preserved example of its class and is unusual in that it is located in a low lying and inconspicuous position. Previous excavations have provided insight into the construction of the barrow and the nature of the burials contained within it.


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


The monument includes a Neolithic long barrow 600m north west of Slaughtergate Farm, Gillingham. The barrow, which is orientated east-west, is situated in a flat and inconspicuous location with a broad view to the east. The barrow mound, previously recorded as 40m long, is now 35m long, 12m wide and varies in height between 1.5m at the eastern end and 2m at the western end. The barrow has been truncated and disturbed in several places by part excavations in 1802, 1855 and 1951, and by agricultural activity. The 1951 excavation trench, although now much eroded, is clearly visible cutting across the barrow 6m from the eastern end. Other early excavations are represented by a 4m wide circular depression 14m from the eastern end, and another depression 27.5m from the eastern end of the barrow. The western end of the barrow has been truncated by a silage clamp, now removed. There is no surface indication of any ditches flanking the mound, although these will survive as buried features c.5m wide. The results of part excavation suggests that the barrow mound was constructed of soil covered by limestone slabs and capped with soil. The 1802 excavations revealed several skeletons on the original ground surface. In 1855 further skeletons were found just below the turf together with some unidentified pottery. In 1954 a skeleton, thought to be a crouched burial, was found just below the surface in the eroded section of the 1951 excavation.

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: 27431

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Hutchins, J, History of Dorset: Volume 3, (1813), 196
Hutchins, J, History of Dorset: Volume 13, (1868), 615
Farrar, , 'Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Arch. Society' in A burial at Longbury, Gillingham, , Vol. 76, (1954), 96
Farrar, , 'Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Arch. Society' in A Trial Excavation At Longbury Mound, Near Slaughtergate Farm, , Vol. 73, (1951), 113

End of official listing