Ancient Monuments

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The Chestnuts Long Barrow

A Scheduled Monument in Addington, Kent

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Latitude: 51.3077 / 51°18'27"N

Longitude: 0.3694 / 0°22'9"E

OS Eastings: 565250.425091

OS Northings: 159175.285568

OS Grid: TQ652591

Mapcode National: GBR NP3.XYC

Mapcode Global: VHJM4.CD5C

Entry Name: The Chestnuts Long Barrow

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 7 September 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012917

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12770

County: Kent

Civil Parish: Addington

Built-Up Area: Addington

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

Church of England Parish: Addington St Margaret

Church of England Diocese: Rochester


The surviving remains of this monument lie on relatively low, sandy
ground above the valley of a small stream. The remains are best
interpreted as those of a Long Barrow oriented E- W with the burial
chamber at the E end. Some 100m to the SE is the Addington Long
The most distinctive part of the monument is the cluster of large
sarsen stones which originally formed a Neolithic burial chamber. The
understanding of this monument relies heavily on the excavations
carried out in 1957 by Dr. J. Alexander. These investigations
demonstrated that the burial chamber had formerly been covered by a
mound of sand 18m wide which nad been scraped up from the surrounding
area. The burial chamber, formed by pairs of stones on the north and
south sides and given a facade of four further slabs, was found to
contain the cremated remains of 12 bodies.
The burial chamber was estimated to have been 3.6m long and 2.4m wide
and was roofed by capstones. The mound over the chamber was probably
in the shape of a tapering rectangle extending westwards for perhaps
50-60m by analogy with similar monuments. The excavation showed that
the mound had been had been seriously damaged during the medieval
period. The western end was sub-sequently lost to quarrying and the
mound was further damaged earlier this century by deep ploughing, but
evidence from pits cut into the subsoil is considered likely to
survive to the west of the burial chamber.
The recent concrete at the foot of the large sarsens (but not the
ground beneath), the props used to support the stones and the fence at
the quarry-edge are excluded from the scheduling at this monument.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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 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 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 important.

The Chestnuts example, although damaged both in antiquity and in recent
times firstly by medieval stone-robbing and then by quarrying, retains
the main stones of the burial chamber and survives as a visually
impressive monument. It is also well documented archaeologically.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Alexander, J, 'Archaeologia Cantiana' in The Excavation of the Chestnuts Megalithic Tomb at Addington, , Vol. 76, (1961), 1-57
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Long Barrows, (1989)
Report for the DoE, Holgate, R, A Management and Research Design for the Kent Megaliths, (1981)

Source: Historic England

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