Ancient Monuments

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Chambered tomb called The Grey Mare and her Colts

A Scheduled Monument in Long Bredy, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.6818 / 50°40'54"N

Longitude: -2.5904 / 2°35'25"W

OS Eastings: 358386.473382

OS Northings: 87065.80945

OS Grid: SY583870

Mapcode National: GBR PT.RNGX

Mapcode Global: FRA 57G8.NN8

Entry Name: Chambered tomb called The Grey Mare and her Colts

Scheduled Date: 3 March 1922

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1002671

English Heritage Legacy ID: DO 5

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Long Bredy

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Long Bredy St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a chambered tomb situated on the upper north west facing slopes of a prominent hill, overlooking a dry valley leading to the head waters of the River Bride and forms part of a group of similar monuments dispersed along the South Dorset Ridgeway. The chambered tomb survives as a roughly rectangular mound measuring up to 24m long which tapers slightly in width from 13m at the south eastern end to 8m wide at the north western end. The mound stands up to 1m high and the parallel quarry ditches, from which the construction material was derived, are preserved as buried features. To the south east end of the mound four massive Sarsen stones, three upright and one recumbent, represent a shallow crescent-shaped fa‡ade with a further recumbent stone behind thought to be the capstone of a collapsed chamber. A further recumbent Sarsen stone in the south western corner of the mound was recorded as upright in 18th century engravings by Hutchins. There are also several smaller protruding stones set into the edge of the mound which are the remains of a retaining kerb. The mound was partially excavated in the early 19th century and produced many human bones and some pottery.
Further archaeological remains in the vicinity are scheduled separately.

Sources: HER:-
PastScape Monument No:-450303

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Chambered tombs are funerary monuments constructed and used during the Early and Middle Neolithic periods (3400-2400 BC). They comprise linear mounds of stone covering one or more stone-lined burial chambers. With other types of long barrow they form the burial places of Britain's early farming communities and, as such, are amongst the oldest field monuments surviving visibly within the present landscape. Where investigated, chambered tombs appear to have been used for communal burial, often with only parts of the human remains having been selected for interment. The number of burials placed within the tombs suggests they were used over a considerable period of time and that they were important ritual sites for local communities. Some 300 chambered tombs are recorded in England. As one of the few types of Neolithic structure to survive as upstanding monuments, and due to their rarity, their considerable age and longevity as a monument type, all chambered tombs are considered to be nationally important. Despite partial early excavation, the chambered tomb called The Grey Mare and her Colts survives well and will contain archaeological and environmental evidence relating to its construction, longevity, territorial significance, social organisation of the builders, funerary and ritual practices and overall landscape context.

Source: Historic England

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