Long Barrow 360m Ssw of Chettle House
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Dorset County Council
North Dorset District Council
SJ951951 (395071, 112800)
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A Neolithic long barrow located south of Chettle House, and situated at the top of a gentle south-east facing slope on a low spur. Listed by RCHME as Chettle 16 and by Grinsell as Chettle I. Orientated east-northeast by west-southwest, RCHME described the mound as being 320 feet long, 65 feet wide and 8 feet high. The western end has suffered badly from plough damage. Two recorded episodes of excavations have only discovered secondary burials and objects, some suggested to be of early to middle Saxon in date. The barrow was dug into at the beginning of the 18th century, apparently by (or rather for) the Countess of Temple. According to Hutchins (1813), "an opening was made in the side of this barrow,...and beneath the level of the surface of the field a great quantity of human bones were found, and with them heads of spears, and relics of other warlike instruments, which were presented to the Earl of Pembroke, and are at this time at Wilton House" [note that this quote, taken from Banks 1900, differs slightly from that given by Warne]. Banks' (1900) diary of 1767 differs slightly in detail. The barrow had been opened about 40 years previously, when "one opening at the Eastern end...carried down a little way below the surface of the real Ground, when he found many Bones, Brass heads of Spears and some Coin...The other, situate about one third of the whole Length of the Barrow, more to the westward, was never carried deep enough. so nothing was discovered in it." Warne also quotes Hutchins as follows: "About 1776, the sheep having made a scrape on the side of this barrow, near the summit, and the earth having moulded away, a human skeleton was discovered: it lay on its back, was four feet long, and was quite perfect, though remarkably small, and quite even - judged to have been a female. It was not more than one foot beneath the sod."
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