Ancient Monuments

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Coldrum Megalithic Tomb, Trottiscliffe

A Scheduled Monument in Trottiscliffe, Kent

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Latitude: 51.3215 / 51°19'17"N

Longitude: 0.3727 / 0°22'21"E

OS Eastings: 565431.372465

OS Northings: 160720.154163

OS Grid: TQ654607

Mapcode National: GBR NP3.51L

Mapcode Global: VHJM4.D1XR

Entry Name: Coldrum Megalithic Tomb, Trottiscliffe

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 7 September 1990

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013069

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12768

County: Kent

Civil Parish: Trottiscliffe

Built-Up Area: Pinesfield Lane, nr Culverstone Green

Traditional County: Kent

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Kent

Church of England Parish: Trottiscliffe St Peter and St Paul

Church of England Diocese: Rochester


The monument is situated at the head of a coombe below the scarp face of the
North Downs on land in which sarsen stones occur naturally. The east end of
the monument has been damaged by quarrying which has resulted in several
sarsen boulders slipping down from the area of the monument proper. The
burial chamber lies at the east end of a short rectangular area formed by a
kerb of sarsen stones.
The most distinctive feature of the monument is the burial chamber which is
formed by four very large slabs of sarsen arranged in a square formation. A
capping stone would have completed the chamber, but this has since been lost
to erosion or stone-robbing. In this chamber the bones of at least 24
individuals were found when it was excavated in 1922.
The burial chamber is surrounded by a kerb, or revetting wall, of at least 21
sarsen stones which probably once stood upright and prevented the slumping of
the high earthen mound with which the burial chamber was itself covered. The
mound still survives today as a raised area within the kerb, standing perhaps
0.5m above the general ground level. The whole surviving monument measures
30m E-W and 22m N-S.
Excavations in the 19th century, in 1910 and most extensively in 1922
recovered few artefacts with which to date the monument, but it can be
parallelled in many respects, apart from its unusually small length, in the
group of Neolithic Long Barrows which cluster around the northern side of the
Medway Valley.
On all sides the hedge or fence which indicates the position of the constraint
line is itself excluded from the scheduling. The display boards and
protective fencing within the scheduled area are also excluded.

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.

Coldrum, although an atypical example, belongs with the group of burial mounds
known as the Medway Megaliths. It survives well and has high archaeological
potential due to the survival of much of the earthen mound. In addition, it
is relatively well documented and is of high amenity value.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Wilkins, E F, 'Antiquaries Journal' in Antiquaries Journal, , Vol. 8, (1928)
Darvill, T., MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Long Barrows, (1989)
Pagination 12, Holgate, R, A Management and Research Design for the Medway Megaliths, Report for DoE, (1981)
TQ 66 SE 2,

Source: Historic England

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