Long mound and three bowl barrows forming part of a round barrow cemetery 760m NNE of Whatcombe House on the south western part of Black Down


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013846

Date first listed: 31-Oct-1957

Date of most recent amendment: 22-Apr-1996


Ordnance survey map of Long mound and three bowl barrows forming part of a round barrow cemetery 760m NNE of Whatcombe House on the south western part of Black 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.

County: Dorset

District: West Dorset (District Authority)

Parish: Kingston Russell

National Grid Reference: SY 58073 90408

Reasons for Designation

Long mounds are Neolithic monuments dating to the period 3000-2000 BC. They take the form of a bank of earth and/or stone, rectangular in plan and characteristically low and uniform in height, generally flanked on either side by a quarry ditch. Long mounds can vary from 40m-140m in length, although they are often within the range 90m-100m. Where excavated, pottery and flintwork have been found within the mound material and, in some cases, pits containing animal bones and charcoal exist beneath the mound. There is no evidence for the presence of human remains, but some long mounds are known to be situated close to contemporary funerary monuments such as passage graves and long mortuary enclosures. In addition, some were later developed into long barrows while others are associated with later round barrow cemeteries, and this may indicate the persistence of a funerary tradition. Only eight long mounds have been identified and these have a wide distribution across England, with examples known in Dorset, Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire, Staffordshire, Humberside and North Yorkshire. As one of the few types of Neolithic monument to survive as earthworks, and on account of their considerable rarity, age and longevity as a monument class, all long mounds are considered to be of national importance.

The long mound 760m NNE of Whatcombe House is flanked by three of the twelve round barrows which make up a cemetery which developed around the long mounds during the Bronze Age. Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They comprise closely-shaped groups of up to 30 round barrows - rubble or earthen mounds covering single or multiple burials. Most cemeteries developed over a considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted as a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period. They exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including several different types of round barrow, occasionally associated with earlier long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them, contemporary or later `flat' burials between the barrow mounds have often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are considered worthy of protection. The long mound and round barrows 760m NNE of Whatcombe House survive comparatively well and will contain archaeological information relating to the continued use of the site for funerary and associated activity between the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods. A second long mound is situated a short distance to the north making this one of only very few examples where two long mounds are found together.


The monument includes a long mound and three bowl barrows situated below the crest of a chalk ridge of the South Dorset Downs overlooking the South Winterbourne valley to the north. The long mound is one of a pair situated on the south western part of Black Down, around which a group of twelve round barrows later developed during the Bronze Age; ten of these round barrows now survive. The long mound has a mound composed of earth, flint and chalk orientated from south east to north west, with maximum dimensions of 98m in length, 18m in width at the eastern end narrowing to 12m at the western end, and a maximum height of c.0.5m. This is flanked on either side by a ditch from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument. These have become largely infilled over the years but remain visible as slight earthworks c.3m wide. The three bowl barrows are broadly aligned east-west and are situated on either side of the earlier long mound, one to the south west and two to the north east. Each bowl barrow has a mound composed of earth, flint and chalk, which varies between 6.3m and 14m in diameter and c.0.1m-0.5m in height. Surrounding the mounds are ditches from which material was quarried during their construction. These have become infilled over the years, but will survive as buried features c.1m wide.

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: 22984

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Dorset: Volume 1 , (1952), 129
An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Dorset: Volume 1 , (1952), 128
An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Dorset: Volume 1 , (1952), 128
An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Dorset: Volume 1 , (1952), 129
An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Dorset: Volume 1 , (1952), 129
Mention composition of mound,
Mention size of barrow and ploughing,

End of official listing