Ancient Monuments

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Long barrow south-west of Vernditch Chase

A Scheduled Monument in Sixpenny Handley and Pentridge, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.9832 / 50°58'59"N

Longitude: -1.9507 / 1°57'2"W

OS Eastings: 403555.0871

OS Northings: 120421.221419

OS Grid: SU035204

Mapcode National: GBR 40V.CM4

Mapcode Global: FRA 66SJ.5TD

Entry Name: Long barrow south-west of Vernditch Chase

Scheduled Date: 21 April 1977

Last Amended: 29 January 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012945

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12083

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Sixpenny Handley and Pentridge

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Martin All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a long barrow set below the crest of a gentle south-
facing slope in an area of undulating chalk downland. The barrow mound is
ovoid in plan and orientated SE-NW. It survives to a length of 36m, is 25m
wide and 2m high. It is flanked by ditches, from which mound material was
quarried, to the east and west. These survive to a depth of 0.4m and are 7.5m
wide on the west side, 5m wide on the east. The bank and ditch constructed to
mark the post-1865 county boundary have partly obscured the outer edge of the
NE ditch.

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. The Vernditch Chase example is particularly important as it survives
well and is one of several long barrows in the immediate area. Such clusters
are of great significance 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)

Source: Historic England

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