Long barrow 360m SSW of Chettle House


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
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Ordnance survey map of Long barrow 360m SSW of Chettle House
© 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.

North Dorset (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
ST 95071 12800

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 long barrow 360m SSW of Chettle House is a well preserved example of its class and one of several long barrows in the vicinity, being less than 2km from the west end of the Neolithic monument known as the Dorset Cursus. The barrow is known from part excavation to contain archaeological remains, providing information about Neolithic burial practices, economy and environment.


The monument includes a Neolithic long barrow 360m SSW of Chettle House, close to the parish boundary with Tarrant Hinton. The barrow, which is orientated east to west, is situated on the top of a gentle hill with views to the south and east. The barrow mound is c.82m long but clearly extends westwards into the arable field for possibly a further 15m, where it is visible as a slight rise of chalky soil. The mound is 17m wide at the west end and 19m at the east end. It is very uneven in profile with a maximum height of 2.5m. There is no clear indication of the ditches flanking the mound although they may be indicated by the darker soil in the ploughed fields on both sides and they will survive as buried features c.5m wide. The barrow mound has been truncated and disturbed in several places by part excavations in c.1700, 1776, and possibly more recently. These events are now represented by depressions in the mound surface. When the barrow was opened c.1700 it is reported that large quantities of human bones were found together with spear heads and other weaponry, perhaps suggesting pagan Saxon secondary burials. A further secondary burial was found in 1776. Excluded from the scheduling are all fence posts although the ground beneath is included.

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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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.

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