Ancient Monuments

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Duck's Nest: a long barrow on Rockbourne Down

A Scheduled Monument in Rockbourne, Hampshire

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Latitude: 50.9828 / 50°58'58"N

Longitude: -1.8524 / 1°51'8"W

OS Eastings: 410455.305594

OS Northings: 120386.12997

OS Grid: SU104203

Mapcode National: GBR 410.6J0

Mapcode Global: FRA 760J.24Q

Entry Name: Duck's Nest: a long barrow on Rockbourne Down

Scheduled Date: 30 November 1925

Last Amended: 5 February 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012920

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12088

County: Hampshire

Civil Parish: Rockbourne

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Rockbourne St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a long barrow set on a ridge-top with extensive
views to the east and west. The monument tapers slightly in plan and
is orientated SSE-NNW with the broader end facing SSE. The barrow
mound survives to a length of 44m and a width of 17.5m at the south
end and 12m wide at the north end. It stands 2.4m high above narrow
sloping berms and 4.8m above two curving side ditches, from which
mound material was quarried and which are 14m wide and 0.5m deep. The
berms survive to an average width of 1.5m.
A difference in height of 1.7m between the surface of the berms and
the ground level outside the ditches suggests that the mound may have
been built on a small knoll on the hill top.
The site is visible from three other long barrows, at Knap barrow and
Grans barrow, 1.5km to the SW and a long barrow on Little Toyd Down
2.3km to the NW.

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 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 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. Duck's Nest is important as it survives well
and is one of several long barrows in the immediate area. Such
clusters are significant as they give an indication of the intensity
with which areas were settled during the Neolithic period.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Smith, I F , Long Barrows in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, (1979), 50-1

Source: Historic England

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