Long barrows and group of round barrows on Bokerly Down
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Dorset County Council
East Dorset District Council
SE041041 (404078, 119128)
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A Neolithic long barrow, subsequently enlarged into a bank barrow. Immediately south east of the terminal of the Dorset Cursus (Linear 41) is a long barrow, listed by RCHME as Pentridge 21 and by Grinsell as Pentridge IIb. Aligned broadly southeast-northwest, the mound has suffered some damage to its northwestern end, but RCHME measured it at 185 feet long. At the broader and higher southeastern end, it measured 60 feet wide and 6 feet high. Ploughing had almost totally obscured surface traces of the side ditches. Immediately southeast, and broadly sharing the same alignment, is another long mound, separated from the long barrow by a gap of a few metres. Listed by RCHME as Pentridge 22 and by Grinsell as Pentridge IIa, RCHME described it as a mound 270 feet long, 70 feet wide and 5 feet high, and with a level top. Again, it was accompanied by parallel flanking ditches. There has been some debate about the relationship between the two mounds. Pentridge 21 is clearly a long barrow, and it seems likely that the Dorset Cursus was aligned on it. Pentridge 22 has been variously considered as another long barrow, or as an extension to Pentridge 21. This latter is the view currently favoured. Pentridge 22 shows no variation in height or width along its length and appears to represent a "tail" added to Pentridge 21, albeit at the "wrong" end, presumably becasue the existence of the Cursus terminal prevented any northerly extension of the long barrow's mound. Although Atkinson (1955) claimed that the side ditches of the two mounds were continuous, this does not seem to be the case. There appears to be a gap corresponding with the gap between the two mounds. Thus Pentridge 21 predates the Cursus and Pentridge 22 post-dates it. Note that a round barrow, SU 01 NW 41, lies at the southeastern end of Pentridge 22.
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