Long barrow on Bere Down, 1100m north east of Roke Barn

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015329

Date first listed: 14-Dec-1926

Date of most recent amendment: 09-Mar-2001

Map

Ordnance survey map of Long barrow on Bere Down, 1100m north east of Roke Barn
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Dorset

District: Purbeck (District Authority)

Parish: Bere Regis

National Grid Reference: SY 82983 97250

Summary

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.

Despite some reduction by ploughing, the long barrow on Bere Down, 1100m north east of Roke Barn survives comparatively well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a long barrow situated upon a spur on Bere Down, overlooking the Bere valley to the south. The long barrow has a mound, aligned north east by south west, composed of flint, earth and chalk. The mound, which has maximum dimensions of 55m in length, 24m in width and about 0.5m-0.75m in height, is associated with five sarsen blocks which were revealed during the course of ploughing operations. The sarsen stones were identified within the central and southern areas of the mound and may relate to an inner chamber. The mound is flanked on either side by a ditch from which material was quarried during the construction of the monument. The ditches have become infilled over the years, although the southern example is visible as a terrace 14m wide, running parallel to the length of the mound. The long barrow later became incorporated within a prehistoric field boundary and lynchets are known to have run up to the mound. The field system has since been levelled by ploughing.

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.

Legacy

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 28393

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 431
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 431
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 431
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume I, (1970), 431

End of official listing