Ancient Monuments

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Longbury long barrow 600m north west of Slaughtergate Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Gillingham, Dorset

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Latitude: 51.044 / 51°2'38"N

Longitude: -2.3045 / 2°18'16"W

OS Eastings: 378745.869284

OS Northings: 127230.965339

OS Grid: ST787272

Mapcode National: GBR 0VN.D5Y

Mapcode Global: FRA 662C.60B

Entry Name: Longbury long barrow 600m north west of Slaughtergate Farm

Scheduled Date: 10 September 1956

Last Amended: 22 April 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013680

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27431

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Gillingham

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Gillingham St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes a Neolithic long barrow 600m north west of Slaughtergate
Farm, Gillingham. The barrow, which is orientated east-west, is situated in a
flat and inconspicuous location with a broad view to the east. The barrow
mound, previously recorded as 40m long, is now 35m long, 12m wide and varies
in height between 1.5m at the eastern end and 2m at the western end. The
barrow has been truncated and disturbed in several places by part excavations
in 1802, 1855 and 1951, and by agricultural activity. The 1951 excavation
trench, although now much eroded, is clearly visible cutting across the barrow
6m from the eastern end. Other early excavations are represented by a 4m wide
circular depression 14m from the eastern end, and another depression 27.5m
from the eastern end of the barrow. The western end of the barrow has been
truncated by a silage clamp, now removed.
There is no surface indication of any ditches flanking the mound, although
these will survive as buried features c.5m wide. The results of part
excavation suggests that the barrow mound was constructed of soil covered by
limestone slabs and capped with soil. The 1802 excavations revealed several
skeletons on the original ground surface. In 1855 further skeletons were found
just below the turf together with some unidentified pottery. In 1954 a
skeleton, thought to be a crouched burial, was found just below the surface in
the eroded section of the 1951 excavation.

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 examples of
long barrows and long cairns, their counterparts in the uplands, are recorded
nationally. 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 Longbury long barrow is a comparatively well preserved example of its
class and is unusual in that it is located in a low lying and inconspicuous
position. Previous excavations have provided insight into the construction of
the barrow and the nature of the burials contained within it.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Hutchins, J, History of Dorset: Volume 3, (1813), 196
Hutchins, J, History of Dorset: Volume 13, (1868), 615
Farrar, , 'Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Arch. Society' in A burial at Longbury, Gillingham, , Vol. 76, (1954), 96
Farrar, , 'Proceedings of the Dorset Natural History and Arch. Society' in A Trial Excavation At Longbury Mound, Near Slaughtergate Farm, , Vol. 73, (1951), 113

Source: Historic England

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