The Modern Antiquarian. Ancient Sites, Stone Circles, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic Mysteries

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The Chestnuts (Long Barrow) — Images (click to view fullsize)

<b>The Chestnuts</b>Posted by slumpystones

Oldbury Rock Shelters (Cave / Rock Shelter) — Images

<b>Oldbury Rock Shelters</b>Posted by slumpystones

The Countless Stones (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>The Countless Stones</b>Posted by slumpystones

Coldrum (Long Barrow) — Images

<b>Coldrum</b>Posted by slumpystones

The Chestnuts (Long Barrow) — Images

<b>The Chestnuts</b>Posted by slumpystones

Addington Long Barrow — Images

<b>Addington Long Barrow</b>Posted by slumpystones

Smythe's Megalith (Long Barrow) — Fieldnotes

"I received an invitation from Mr Fowle [the landowner] to be present at the investigation and was there during the progress of the work. Upon removing the earth we found that there were three large stones and one smaller stone, all of them of irregular shape, of the same formation and appearance as the monument close by called Kit's Coty.

That on the N side 7'6" x 4'9" x 1'2"
That on the S side 7'0" x 5'9" x 2'3"
That on the W side 3'0" x 4'0" x 1'6"
Small stone 3'0" x 2'0" x 1'0" [this having been placed to prevent the N stone from falling against the S stone, the whole structure had been depressed towards the south].

The stones were removed and next day workmen continued to dig beneath to ascertain if anything had been deposited, and at about 4 feet below the monument, they discovered a flat stone 4' long, 3' broad, upon which several human bones were found lying E-W, but they were thrown out carelessly by the workmen, and noone being on the spot to take notes, particulars could not be ascertained. Some of the bones were collected and shown to Mr Charles of Maidstone [see below], who gave a description of them. With the bones were found a fragment of an unglazed urn."

C.T. Smythe, MS Collections, folio 30; Nat. Mon. Record.

"From the state of the teeth we may conclude they belonged to persons of, or past, middle age...two bodies must have been buried in the tomb as among the fragments of bones collected there were two right-sides of the under-jaws and ulna ...

About 4' below the surface of the N stone was a flat stone...on which lay the skull of a mole, the rest of the bones lay in a direct line with the E end."

Dr Thomas Charles, 1822.

Smythe's Megalith (Long Barrow) — Images

<b>Smythe's Megalith</b>Posted by slumpystones

Smythe's Megalith (Long Barrow) — Fieldnotes

Also known as the Warren Farm Chamber, this Medway Megalith was discovered in 1822 and excavated by Thomas Charles and Clement Taylor Smythe, having been unearthed only 6" down during ploughing. Laying east-west across the foot of a gentle downhill slope, and being smaller in stature than the other surviving monuments in the area, it was probably more easily destroyed, washed out and lost. The chamber alone is now visible as a circular chalkmark on aerial photographs in the centre of the field, 200m north-west of the White Horse Stone. It is on a level contour with Kit's Coty, 1/4 mile to the west.

Three upright sarsens in an H formation were uncovered, plus another as a spacer with [very unusually] a fifth stone used as a paved floor, with skeletal remains on top, which 'crumbled to dust' as the workmen dug them out. Some small skull fragments and vertebrae were saved. Other sarsens were unearthed more recently in the same field, buried in pits, and were left in situ but it is not confirmed if they were connected to the monument.

This would likely have been the smallest of all the surrounding monuments height-wise, at around 5' inside the [surviving] chamber, but nowadays there's nothing to see.

As far as access, there is none, other than the view from the Pilgrim's Way at the foot of Warren Farm Road, or from the White Horse Stone. Bordered by the Channel Tunnel and A249 to the west, it is not the most pleasant place to spend any time with little ambience, though the nature reserve and woodland on the spur to the east are a nice retreat.

The Countless Stones (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>The Countless Stones</b>Posted by slumpystones

Coldrum (Long Barrow) — Miscellaneous

One central slab of the western, distal, end of the kerbed part of the barrow has upon it a line of concave abrasion and polishing. A diffused area of similar polishing is also to be seen on another stone. These can be explained as the results of the sharpening of stone and flint axe-blades on the sarsens. The construction of Coldrum would have involved the use of numerous timber levers, struts and blocks, which would have required cutting and fashioning. Axe sharpening would thus have been a recurrent necessity. Axe-sharpening traces have been noted at West Kennet, while at Wayland's Smithy sarsen rubbers, termed querns, were used. Axe-sharpening traces have been noted upon some of Stonehenge's sarsen stones and among the sarsen spreads on Overton Down, east of Avebury. Similar sharpening patches and grooves may exist on the stones of the Kentish series. Timber in quantity would have been needed for stone transport.

Paul Ashbee, Coldrum Revisited and Reviewed, Arch Cantiana vol 118, 1998.

Kent — Miscellaneous

When first built, the Medway's long barrows had high rectangular chambers. These, their entrances finally blocked by a focal portal stone, and with a facade, were at the eastern end of considerable, in surviving instances more than 60m in length, long barrows. Flanked by quarry ditches or scoops, they were retained by sarsen stone kerbs, the surviving boulders being mostly of modest size.

On the eastern side of the Medway there is the Lower Kit's Coty House, where, when scrutinized from the east, it can be seen that the chamber's side stones have fallen to the north. Were they, as were those of Chestnuts, merely pulled back into a vertical position, there would be a chamber almost 7m long and 3.5m wide, with an astonishing internal height, at least at the entrance, of almost 2.8m. At Chestnuts this procedure showed that its stones demarcated a chamber 4m long, 2m wide and 3m high. The Coffin Stone's chamber could have been at least 3.5m high.

Such chamber heights are exceptional, and thus the Medway's megalithic long barrows were undiputedly a unique group of the largest and most grandiose of their kind.

Paul Ashbee - Kent in Prehistoric Times.

Shoulder of Mutton Wood Bell Barrow (Round Barrow(s)) — Miscellaneous

AN EARTHEN MOUND NEAR ROCHESTER

ABOUT 1 mile south of Borstal in a beech wood called "Shoulder of Mutton Shaw" is an overgrown earthen mound some 10 feet in height and between 30 and 35 feet in diameter at its base. It has been known to map-makers for some long time, and has been variously described by them as a tumulus, a castle, and a fort. A recent visit has not confirmed the section of the mound published in V.C.H. Kent, Vol. I (1908), p. 411, there being no sign of a surrounding ditch or of the symmetrical depression there shown in the top. It has no structural features of note, and appears to be a simple tump of earth and chalk. Excavation has certainly been made in the summit of the mound, but this may be due to the burying of a dead sheep which, on the farmer's information, took place some years ago.
Close by the western side of the mound is the sixteenth Boundary Stone of the City of Rochester, and this surely provides the clue to its purpose. In 1460, part of the City boundary ran from Keneling's Crouch or Poule's Cross on the Rochester-Maidstone road to the Manor of Nashenden, to the Mill Hill next Nashenden, thence to the stone, and then between the King's Highway leading to Wouldham and the Manor of Ringes on the east side of that Manor.
According to Hasted the stone is also mentioned in a charter of Charles I to the City. From the charter evidence it is not quite clear whether the stone stood nearer to Ring's Hill Farm, where a boundary stone still stands, or whether it was the stone at the side of the mound. In any case, a boundary mark would almost certainly be provided on such a hillside spur, and it may well be that advantage was taken of an earth mound which may already have been in use as a Manorial meeting place. An examination of original documentary sources would probably decide the question.
R. F. JESSUP.
Archaeologia Cantiana Vol. 55 - 1942 page 71

The Countless Stones (Dolmen / Quoit / Cromlech) — Images

<b>The Countless Stones</b>Posted by slumpystones

Arbor Low (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>Arbor Low</b>Posted by slumpystones

Kent — Images

<b>Kent</b>Posted by slumpystones<b>Kent</b>Posted by slumpystones

Coldrum (Long Barrow) — Images

<b>Coldrum</b>Posted by slumpystones<b>Coldrum</b>Posted by slumpystones<b>Coldrum</b>Posted by slumpystones

Coldrum (Long Barrow) — Fieldnotes

To clarify the issue of access to the site, the old lane marked on OS maps as 'Coldrum Lane' was, and still is, a private unmade road, which had got to such a sorry rutted state the residents along the lane decided to gate it off. It was never intended as access to the monument, but was the old entrance to Coldrum Lodge, long destroyed.

Shoulder of Mutton Wood Bell Barrow (Round Barrow(s)) — Images

<b>Shoulder of Mutton Wood Bell Barrow</b>Posted by slumpystones<b>Shoulder of Mutton Wood Bell Barrow</b>Posted by slumpystones

Shoulder of Mutton Wood Bell Barrow (Round Barrow(s)) — Fieldnotes

Perched [unusually] right on the crest of a very slim ridge running roughly N-S, this rare Kentish bell barrow has suffered from looters at some stage in antiquity. The hole left in the top has probably reduced it from its current 2m height quite considerably, though there are supposed to be remains still waiting to be excavated. The ditch has suffered with falling trees uprooting large chunks of soil, but is still in evidence to the North and South. Due to the [too] narrow strip of land this barrow is sited on, the East and West sides of the barrow are actually on the downhill slopes and no trace of any ditch can be seen.

Access via Ivy Cottage Farm [park opposite], across the small field and straight up the hill to the N Downs way, then left and along the ridge for 200m. The barrow takes up the entire width of the woodland so no hunting.

The views on either side of the ridge are quite impressive, with a long strip of the Medway visible to the South round to the North West. This barrow must have been highly visible especially to the West, as it would have created a large hump in the smooth horizon especially if it was as high as has been suggested.

The Great Circle, North East Circle & Avenues (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>The Great Circle, North East Circle & Avenues</b>Posted by slumpystones<b>The Great Circle, North East Circle & Avenues</b>Posted by slumpystones<b>The Great Circle, North East Circle & Avenues</b>Posted by slumpystones

The South West Circle (Stone Circle) — Images

<b>The South West Circle</b>Posted by slumpystones<b>The South West Circle</b>Posted by slumpystones<b>The South West Circle</b>Posted by slumpystones<b>The South West Circle</b>Posted by slumpystones<b>The South West Circle</b>Posted by slumpystones

The Cove (Standing Stones) — Images

<b>The Cove</b>Posted by slumpystones

Bull Ring (Henge) — Fieldnotes

One of those places you felt like saying aloud "well at least someone cares that you're here" when you stood aghast 4 or 5 years ago. But strangely, as reported, the locals must have decided to stop the flytipping [God knows how they get in there with the barriers all over the place] and protect it a bit more at last. A treasure in the midst has an effect, now as always.

Also overlooked, on the South-East corner of the churchyard wall adjoining the site, there are the remains of a Neolithic barrow-on-a-barrow , hardly more than a hump now but evidence that this immediate area [actually quite flat but horribly exposed to the East] may be a bit of an eyesore now, but was once considered more important.

In Dove Holes defence, the lanes surrounding the station contain beautiful tiny cottages, and if it wasn't for the A6 ploughing through it, leaving traces of the quarried muck everywhere, it would be just another Peak village.

Addington Long Barrow — Miscellaneous

I'd like to add, knowing the recent history and layout of the immediate local area, the road that runs through the barrow is totally unnecessary. The original path led off to the South of the lower end of the barrow towards the manor house, and for the sake of splitting off the path and making the lane another 25 yards further South they ran straight through the middle. But by then the mound may have been very low. The soil is extremely sandy, so any mound would quite literally have blown/washed away, as it did at Chestnuts.

Roosdyche (Ancient Village / Settlement / Misc. Earthwork) — Images

<b>Roosdyche</b>Posted by slumpystones<b>Roosdyche</b>Posted by slumpystones<b>Roosdyche</b>Posted by slumpystones
Previous 50 | Showing 51-88 of 88 posts. Most recent first
Dazed, confused and peering through a fog for a glimpse of truth...and other similar flowery poetic sentiments. At heart I'm a sceptic when it comes to a man in a suit, a crap anarchist, a collector of live music, pebbles and stones, a friend of the Peaks, an enemy of the State, who suffers with perpetual cold feet. My hair is too long, my legs are too short and my knees are fucked up. I'd be an archaeologist if I could put my mind to studying, didn't have a bad back, and could handle cold weather. I want to buy a stone circle with a house in the grounds and have Phil Harding round for tea...

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