Along a minor road between Addington and Wrotham Heath – immediately south of the M20. An O/S map would be handy although the barrows are signposted from Addington. Parking can be had at the entrance to Rose Alba.
The entrance to Rose Alba was closed and locked. The sign on the gate gave a telephone number you could ring to make an appointment for a tour of the barrows - £1.00 for adults / under 16 free! I rang the number but there was no answer so I walked back along the lane to have a look at the Addington long barrow.
From the lane you are really quite close to the stones but a barbed wire fence prevents you from getting too close. The stones were a little overgrown with long grass all around. However, the stones are large and can be easily seen. In fact, I am sure I was standing on the edge of one of the fallen stones which comes out to the edge of the road. By standing on the stone you are a couple of inches higher to look into the field. Dafydd and Sophie were none too impressed with the stones – I can understand why. No doubt had we been able to have a ‘tour’ things would have been different.
From the road you cannot see the Chestnuts long barrow which I assume is the other side of the house? Pity there was no one home, I would have loved to have seen the Chestnuts………..
Following my discovery of the roadworks on the barrow and a phonecall to Kent Heritage, I went visiting today. A team of three, including a young lady who I have been emailing regarding the Medway Megaliths for six months, were busy mapping the site, and then I got a nice surprise. Thinking they were getting ready to explore the pothole repair, I was stunned to be shown a large, squarish hole with a buried kerbstone, beneath the tarmac and metalling of the road. I was told I was only the 4th person to see that stone in over 500 years, which is a bit of a buzz!
The road is now closed for "as long as it takes" and I have been invited back at the weekend to see the next stage. They are planning a fullscale survey and possible excavation in the next 12 months, and will keep me informed so I can visit every day and blog it.
And about bloody time too...
PS In return for showing me underground, the team asked that I ask that no visitors descend on them this weekend please! Next year, when the real work begins, no problem.
Despite the fact you can see Addington Long Barrow from the road that runs straight through it the land that it lies on seems to be owned by the same woman who owns the land that the Chestnuts are on. This site would be much better apreciated if you can actually access the land it's on instead of looking at the stones through the barbed wire fence. Unfortunately the owner was just leaving when we arrived and was unable to show us around.
People reading this website before visiting the Chestnuts will see that there's information about calling ahead to arrange your visit. To get the best out of visiting this site I advise ringing the same number.
So, if you are looking at the Addington page on this site without realising there's an more exciting tomb situated just behind this one I advise calling this number before planning your visit to make sure you can get access:
Once mistaken for two monuments - bit of a burial chamber one side, bit of a stone circle the other, a road was driven through the middle in the 19th century. Only it isn't two monuments. At one end is a burial chamber, for sure, but what was once mistaken for a stone circle is in fact the kerbstones of a beautiful long barrow. Joan lovingly preserves it and proudly told us that, thanks to her guadianship, 47 different species of wild plant grow there now. She has had it designated as a nature reserve.
Mr. Larking has since made some excavations at one of the cromlechs of the parish of Addington, the only result of which was the discovery of some fragments of rude pottery, but they were attended with a circumstance which shows how long the ancient superstitions connected with such monuments have lasted. He had fixed on the site for excavating one afternoon, when the keeper happened accidentally to be present.
Early in the forenoon of the next day, Mr. Larking, with some workmen, proceeded to the spot, and he was rather surprised to find the keeper and an assistant waiting for him with picks and spades, and to see them work with extraordinary vigour and earnestness.
As the day passed on, and nothing but a few bits of pottery turned up, disappointment was visible in the features of the keeper, which became still more apparent when they all quitted their work and prepared for their departure. Before they separated, however, he communicated to my excellent friend the cause which made him work so diligently - in the preceding night he had dreamt that the cromlech contained a large crock of gold, and he was in hopes to be the fortunate discoverer of it!
"A local vicar carried out excavations here in about 1845 and human bones were said to have been found. The eastern chamber still had its capstone in place then, but due to the attention of this over enthusiastic cleric the chamber collapsed as a result of his excavation. He also threw away all the pottery, bones and artefacts he found, as he felt "That they were rude and common stuff" !!!"
(This article originally appeared in the January 1999 issue of the BAG newsletter)
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.