Long mound 860m NNE of Whatcombe House, associated with the round barrow cemetery on the south western part of Black Down


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013847

Date first listed: 31-Oct-1957

Date of most recent amendment: 22-Apr-1996


Ordnance survey map of Long mound 860m NNE of Whatcombe House, associated with the round barrow cemetery on the south western part of Black Down
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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 58057 90515

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 860m NNE of Whatcombe House survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. A second long mound is situated a short distance to the south, making this one of very few examples where two long mounds are found together.


The monument includes a long mound situated below the crest of a north facing chalk ridge of the South Dorset Downs, overlooking the South Winterbourne valley. The long mound is one of a pair situated on the south western part of Black Down, around which a cemetery containing a total 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, chalk and flint, orientated north west by south east with maximum dimensions of 90m in length, 15m in width and c.0.6m in height. Flanking either side of the mound is a ditch from which material was quarried during its construction. These are visible as slight earthworks 1.5m-2m wide at the eastern end; elsewhere they have become infilled, but will survive as buried features. Excluded from the scheduling are all fence posts relating to the modern field boundaries, although the underlying ground 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.

Legacy System number: 22985

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Dorset: Volume 1 , (1952), 128
An Inventory of the Historical Monuments of Dorset: Volume 1 , (1952), 128

End of official listing