Chettle Long Barrow at north east corner of Eastbury Park


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1014821

Date first listed: 14-Dec-1926

Date of most recent amendment: 22-Feb-1996


Ordnance survey map of Chettle Long Barrow at north east corner of Eastbury Park
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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: Chettle

County: Dorset

District: North Dorset (District Authority)

Parish: Tarrant Gunville

National Grid Reference: ST 93734 13550

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.

Chettle Long barrow is a well preserved example of its class and is one of several long barrows in the area, to the west of the west end of the Neolithic monument known as the Dorset Cursus. The barrow is known from partial excavation to contain archaeological remains, providing information about Neolithic burial practices, economy and environment.


The monument includes a Neolithic long barrow, known as Chettle Long Barrow, located at the top of an east facing slope in the north east corner of Eastbury Park on the boundary with Tarrant Gunville. The barrow mound is 58m long and 22m wide, orientated north west to south east and is wider and higher at the south east end. The mound has a maximum height of 3m. An oval hollow recorded in the arable field on the north east side of the mound which is 50m long, by 14.5m wide and 0.6m deep, probably represents a flanking ditch. A shallower hollow was also reported along the south west side. These ditches will survive as buried features. Numerous human bones were found when an unspecified part of the barrow was removed to make a grotto before 1767. The parish boundary runs along the top of the mound. Excluded from the scheduling are all fence posts and the telegraph pole 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.

Legacy System number: 27368

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Hutchins, J, History of Dorset: Volume III, (1868), 567
Banks, J, 'Proceedings of the Dorset Natural Hist.and Arch. Society' in Journal Of An Excursion To Eastbury And Bristol Etc In 1767, , Vol. 21, (1900), 145

End of official listing