Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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East Kennett long barrow, 600m south of East Kennett church

A Scheduled Monument in East Kennett, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.4005 / 51°24'1"N

Longitude: -1.8342 / 1°50'3"W

OS Eastings: 411630.479767

OS Northings: 166843.053856

OS Grid: SU116668

Mapcode National: GBR 3VZ.52Z

Mapcode Global: VHB4C.5266

Entry Name: East Kennett long barrow, 600m south of East Kennett church

Scheduled Date: 26 June 1924

Last Amended: 26 September 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012323

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12276

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: East Kennett

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire


The monument includes a long barrow set below the crest of a gentle north-
east facing slope. It survives as a substantial earthwork orientated north-
west/south-east and is broadly rectangular in plan. The barrow mound is flat
topped. It survives to 106m long, 50m wide and stands to a height of c.8m at
the south-east end and 4m at the north-west end. Flanking ditches, from
which material was quarried during the construction of the monument, run
parallel to the south-west and north-east sides of the mound and survive to
a width of c.5m. These have become infilled over the years but survive as a
low earthwork on the north-east side of the mound and as a buried feature to
the south-west. The monument has been partially excavated, both by the Rev.
M Connor in the 19th century and later by Thurnham. No details are known.

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.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Long barrows were constructed as earthen or drystone mounds with flanking
ditches and acted as funerary monuments during the early Neolithic period
(3000 - 2400bc). 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 partial human remains
selected for interment. Certain sites provide evidence for several phases of
funerary monument preceding the barrow and, consequently, it is probable that
long bar rows acted as important ritual sites for local communities over a
considerable period of time. Some 500 long barrows are recorded in England.
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

The 180 long barrows of Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset form the densest and
one of the most significant concentrations of monuments of this type in the
country. East Kennett long barrow is important because, despite partial
excavation of the site in the past, it survives particularly well and has
significant potential for the recovery of archaeological remains. Also as
one of several long barrows and other contemporary monument types occurring
in the immediate area, it illustrates the intensity with which the area was
settled during the Neolithic period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine: Volume 79, , Vol. 79, (), 11

Source: Historic England

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