Chestnuts Long Barrow

Chestnuts Long Barrow is a chambered long barrow in south-eastern Kent. It was probably constructed in the fifth millennium BC, during Britain’s Early Neolithic period. It consisted of a sub-rectangular earthen tumulus with a chamber built from sarsen megaliths on its eastern end. Both inhumed and cremated human remains were placed within this chamber, representing at least nine or ten individuals. In the 12th or 13th century, the chamber was dug into and heavily damaged, either by treasure hunters or iconoclastic Christians. The mound gradually eroded and was completely gone by the twentieth century, leaving only the ruined stone chamber.

About Chestnuts Long Barrow in brief

Summary Chestnuts Long BarrowChestnuts Long Barrow is a chambered long barrow in south-eastern Kent. It was probably constructed in the fifth millennium BC, during Britain’s Early Neolithic period. It consisted of a sub-rectangular earthen tumulus with a chamber built from sarsen megaliths on its eastern end. Both inhumed and cremated human remains were placed within this chamber, representing at least nine or ten individuals. In the 12th or 13th century, the chamber was dug into and heavily damaged, either by treasure hunters or iconoclastic Christians. The mound gradually eroded and was completely gone by the twentieth century, leaving only the ruined stone chamber. It is a scheduled ancient monument, standing on private land belonging to a neighbouring house, Rose Alba. It lies on the slope of a hill and borrows its name from the Chestnuts, an area of woodland that crowns the hill. This name was given to the monument in the mid-20th century; it had previously been known as Stony Warren or Long Warren. The barrow is in the greensand belt, 30 metres above sea level. The underlying geology is a soft sandstone covered with a stratum of white sand. The long barrows built in this area are now known as the Medway Megaliths. Some of these chambers were constructed out of timber, while others were built using large stones. These structures were all built along the Western European seaboard during the early Neolithic, taking up southern Spain, southern Sweden, and southern Italy.

The region of modern Kent would have been key for the arrival of continental European settlers and visitors, because of its position on the estuary of the River Thames and its proximity to the continent. Britain was then largely forested; widespread forest clearance did not occur in Kent until the Late Bronze Age. Environmental data from the vicinity of the White Horse Stone, a putatively prehistoric monolith near the River Medway, supports the idea that the area was still largely Forested in the Early Neoliths. Throughout most of Britain, there is little evidence of cereal or permanent dwellings from this period, leading archaeologists to believe that the Neolithic economy was largely pastoral, relying on herding cattle, with people living a nomadic life. In the 4th century AD, a Romano-British hut was erected next to the long Barrow. It is unclear to what extent this can be attributed to an influx of migrants or to indigenous Mesolithic Britons adopting agricultural technologies from the continent, although it is unclear if this was the case. The area was covered by a woodland of oak, ash, hazelalder and Amygdaloideae. Throughout the early Neolithic period, humans built the first monumental structures in which humans lived the first living landscape in which they built the tombs. These tombs were often interred in collective burials with other members of their community instead of being buried in individual burials.