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

The Grey Mare & Her Colts

Long Barrow


Details of Long Barrow on Pastscape

Tumulus. The Grey Mare and her Colts. (Cromlech) (NR) (1) Grey Mare and her Colts. Long Barrow. Neolithic. (SY 58388706) (2)
The Grey Mare and Colts at Gorwell, is a megalithic chambered long cairn. The site consists of a cairn, chamber, facade and peristalith. The cairn is of elongated egg form, 75' long overall and 45' wide at the SE and 4' above the surrounding ground at the same end. There is no sign of any ditches. The chamber, (at the wide SE end) now consists of upright stones forming three sides of a rectangular space, with a capstone (7' x 5') originally covering this, but now slipped sideways obscuring the fourth side of the chamber. (The front stone stands higher than the covering). The axis lies NW-SE and the outer SE wall is formed by a very large slab 61/2" wide, and standing 6' above the cairn material. The two other stones on the SW & W show only a foot or so above the ground. It is seven feet long internally. There are the visible remains of a shallow crescentic forecourt setting or facade of standing stones (about 5' high, 5' wide) with its central stone covering the front of the chamber, with an overall width along the chord of the facade of 35' and with a depth of arc about seven feet. Only two stones now remain of the peristalith near the SE end, showing a foot above ground. The Grey Mare and Colts (with Hell Stone) provides the most easterly members of the Zennor Group of megalithic culture. (3) Careful and detailed account with notes and measurements of each stone. (4) Long barrow : length 80ft; width 45ft; height 4ft. Orientated SE/NW. "Neolithic Wessex" No.142. A burial chamber with possible crescentic forecourt at SE, and traces of peristalith. Opened early in 19th century; many human bones and some pottery found (5). Long Barrow (NR) (The Grey Mare and her Colts). (8)
The ruined chamber is set at the E end of a mound 27.0m long and with a maximum width of 12.0m. The mound is orientated
WNW-ESE, and has an average height of 1.6m. There are no visible side ditches. General description in Authy 3 correct,
and the plan shown in Authy 6. The mound has been trampled by cattle but has not been disturbed by ploughing or other
agricultural operations. (9)
The Grey Mare and Her Colts lies at SY 5838 8706 the head of a dry valley which runs down to Gorwell in the valley of the headwaters of the River Bride. The monument is a well preserved example of a chambered long barrow. It comprises a rectangular mound, orientated NW-SE and 24m long. The mound tapers in width from the southeast end (13m) to the northwest end (8m). The mound is highest at the southeast (1m) and drops to 0.4m at the northwest. The southeast end terminates in a row of four massive sarsens, three are upright, one, at the northeast end, is recumbent. A fifth sarsen, now recumbent at the southwest end of the row, is likely to be that depicted on an 18th-century engraving in Hutchins? History and Antiquities of the County of Dorset, as upright at the southwest corner of the mound. Behind the sarsen stones, recumbent on the edge of the mound, is a fifth massive sarsen, probably the capstone of the collapsed chamber. The slight scarp to the southeast of the end of the mound is probably the result of ploughing, a process which has presumably obliterated the quarry ditches for the mound. Several stones set into the edge of the mound are probably the remains of a retaining kerb. The ledge at the northwest end of the mound was caused by a hedge, now removed, but depicted on the 18th-century engravingand two hollows on the top of the mound may represent the remains of antiquarian excavations carried out in the early 19th century (authy 5) (10)
The site was surveyed using EDM at a scale of 1: 200 as part of a survey of the long barrows on the South Dorset Ridgeway carried out by English Heritage and the Ridgeway Survey Group (11)
Chance Posted by Chance
29th March 2016ce

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