Ancient Monuments

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Long barrow and a round barrow cemetery at Telegraph Clump on Blandford Race Down

A Scheduled Monument in Tarrant Launceston, Dorset

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Latitude: 50.8837 / 50°53'1"N

Longitude: -2.1119 / 2°6'43"W

OS Eastings: 392220.126954

OS Northings: 109367.711557

OS Grid: ST922093

Mapcode National: GBR 30H.DW1

Mapcode Global: FRA 66GR.WK2

Entry Name: Long barrow and a round barrow cemetery at Telegraph Clump on Blandford Race Down

Scheduled Date: 14 September 1962

Last Amended: 15 July 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1020955

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33580

County: Dorset

Civil Parish: Tarrant Launceston

Built-Up Area: Blandford Camp

Traditional County: Dorset

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Dorset

Church of England Parish: Tarrant Hinton St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument, which falls into three separate areas of protection,
includes a long barrow and a Bronze Age round barrow cemetery on a chalk
ridge at Telegraph Clump, on the northern perimeter of Blandford Camp.
The long barrow is aligned WNW-ESE, along the summit of the ridge. It has
a mound 107m long, 23m wide and up to 3m high. The mound now has two tiers
suggesting the presence of a berm platform, although it is possible that
it was modified when a telegraph station was constructed to the south of
the barrow in the 19th century. On either side of the mound are the
irregular and disturbed remains of a quarry ditch from which material was
derived for its construction. On the northern side there is a wide
depression, up to 20m wide, while on the southern side the ditch lies
within an area of later quarrying. The barrow has been damaged by periods
of military activity and there are the remains of brick buildings, tanks
and trenches cut into it.
The later round barrow cemetery lies to the west of the long barrow. It
includes seven barrows, with a nucleus of five adjacent to the long barrow
and two outliers to the north. Two further outlying barrows situated 100m
to the south west were recorded by the Royal Commission for Historical
Monuments for England in 1972, but these have since been destroyed by the
construction of the military camp. Aerial photographs of the area taken in
the 1930s show considerable military trenching in the area of the barrows.
It is possible that some of the barrows were partially excavated in the
19th century. W Shipp recorded finding a human leg bone beneath a large
cairn in a barrow near the Telegraph. J H Austen opened two barrows in the
area, finding a primary cremation in a cist in one barrow and nothing in
the other. In 1840 Austen excavated another barrow in the area which
contained a primary crouched burial with a long-necked Beaker. The barrows
have been ploughed in the past, but most of them survive as earthworks, up
to a maximum of 0.5m in height, ranging in diameter between 6m and 21m.
One of the northerly barrows overlies the lynchet of a field system
encompassing the cemetery and extending to the north. This has largely
been reduced by ploughing over the years and is now visible mainly on
aerial photographs. The lynchet, visible in the vicinity of the barrow as
a slight earthwork 7m wide and 0.3m high, extends for about 100m to the
west of the barrow before turning south towards the nucleus of the
cemetery. All fence and gate posts, buildings and tanks are excluded from
the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

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

Cranborne Chase is an area of chalkland well known for its high number,
density and diversity of archaeological remains. These include a rare
combination of Neolithic and Early Bronze Age sites, comprising one of the
largest concentrations of burial monuments in England, the largest known
cursus (a linear ritual monument) and a significant number and range of
henge monuments (Late Neolithic ceremonial centres). Other important
remains include a variety of enclosures, settlements, field systems and
linear boundaries which date throughout prehistory and into the
Romano-British and medieval periods. This high level of survival of
archaeological remains is due largely to the later history of the Chase.
Cranborne Chase formed a Royal Hunting Ground from at least Norman times,
and much of the archaeological survival within the area resulted from
associated laws controlling land-use which applied until 1830. The unique
archaeological character of the Chase has attracted much attention over
the years, notably during the later 19th century, by the pioneering work
on the Chase of General Pitt-Rivers, Sir Richard Colt Hoare and Edward
Cunnington, often regarded as the fathers of British archaeology.
Archaeological investigations have continued throughout the 20th century
and to the present day.
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 collective burial,
often with only parts of the body selected for internment. 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. On Cranborne Chase, some long barrows occur in groups and some are
also associated with other broadly contemporary monument types, such as
the Dorset Cursus. Some long barrows within this area also appear to have
acted as foci for later Bronze Age round barrow groups which are
concentrated within the surrounding areas. Some 500 examples of long
barrows and long cairns, their counterparts in the uplands, are recorded
nationally. Long barrows are known to occur across Wessex, and the
concentration on Cranborne Chase is particularly significant on account of
the range of examples present and their archaeological associations. Long
barrows, therefore, form an important feature of the Cranborne Chase
landscape. 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 on the Chase are
considered to be nationally important.

Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (around 2000-700 BC). They
comprise closely spaced groups of up to 30 round barrows - rubble or
earthen mounds covering single or multiple burials - or ring ditches,
visible only from the air due to levelling of the mounds by cultivation in
the historic and modern periods. Most cemeteries developed over a
considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted
as a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period. They exhibit
considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including
several different types of round barrow. Where excavation has taken place
around the barrows, contemporary or later flat burials between the barrow
mounds have often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most
of lowland Britain, with a marked concentration in Wessex, of which that
on Cranborne Chase is significant. They are particularly representative of
their period, whilst their diversity and longevity as a monument class
provide information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation
amongst early prehistoric communities. Often occupying prominent
locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape and
constitute a significant component of the archaeology of Cranborne Chase.
All examples with surviving remains are, therefore, considered to be of
national importance.
On Cranborne Chase, long barrows are sometimes associated with other
Neolithic monument types such as the Dorset cursus, and henge monuments.
These monuments also acted as foci for the later Bronze Age round barrow
cemeteries. The long barrow and round barrow cemetery at Telegraph Clump
is a good example of such an association. Both types of monument will
contain information relating to burial rites and beliefs and social
organisation in the Neolithic and the Bronze Age periods. The association
of the round barrow cemetery and the earlier field system provides dating
information and evidence for early farming activities.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume IV, (1972), 100-101
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume IV, (1972), 100-101
Historical Monuments in the County of Dorset: Volume IV, (1972), 100-101
Sumner, H, The Ancient Earthworks of Cranborne Chase, (1913), 75-75
Sumner, H, The Ancient Earthworks of Cranborne Chase, (1913), 74-75
Sumner, H, The Ancient Earthworks of Cranborne Chase, (1913), 74-75
Valentin, J, An Archaeological Evaluation of the New Northern Perimeter Fence, (1996)

Source: Historic England

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