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

Vernditch Chase North

Long Barrow


It doesn't seem an unreasonable spot for a suicide burial, because it is very much on the boundary of things. It is at the point where three parishes meet (Bowerchalke, Martin and Pentridge) - which is actually where three counties meet (Wiltshire, Hampshire and Dorset). It was consequently once the place where three monastic estates met too.

In WAM v55 (1953/4) it is explained that 'Cotelesburgh', a place mentioned in a charter of 945, is very probably this spot; burgh implying mound. The barrow that was here is pretty much ploughed out, but "The former existence of a long barrow at Kitt's Grave is attested by persons whose memories go back to the last century."

It was probably the site of some gallows too (adding to its unnatural reputation) - the Abbess of Wilton complained of trespass into her woods in the 16th century, and rather uncharitably for an abbess, put up some gallows. The Abbot of Glastonbury wasn't that impressed, and there is a document of his protest in 1518. When the monasteries were broken up, William 1st Earl of Pembroke got the land. A description of his new estates included "A certain barrow called Gallows Barrow", presumed to be the same place.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
18th August 2005ce
Edited 6th January 2016ce

Comments (0)

You must be logged in to add a comment