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Smythe's Megalith

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<b>Smythe's Megalith</b>Posted by slumpystonesImage © slumpy
Nearest Town:Chatham (5km NNW)
OS Ref (GB):   TQ752605 / Sheets: 178, 188
Latitude:51° 18' 57.75" N
Longitude:   0° 30' 51.64" E

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Photographs:<b>Smythe's Megalith</b>Posted by slumpystones Maps / Plans / Diagrams:<b>Smythe's Megalith</b>Posted by slumpystones


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"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.
slumpystones Posted by slumpystones
22nd March 2007ce
Edited 22nd March 2007ce

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.
slumpystones Posted by slumpystones
22nd March 2007ce
Edited 22nd March 2007ce