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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 210013

Hob Uid: 210013
Location :
Dorset
Gussage St. Michael
Grid Ref : ST9930013820
Summary : A Neolithic long barrow located on the crest of Gussage Hill. Listed by RCHME as Gussage St Michael 14 and by Grinsell as Gussage St Michael III. The long barrow lies within the Dorset Cursus (Linear 41) and is aligned at right angles to the long axis of the cursus. However, it is slightly off-centre, being closer to the northwest side of the cursus than to the southeast. It also lies among the earthworks of later settlement (ST 91 SE 3 and associated records). RCHME measured the mound as being 155 feet long, 65 feet wide and up to 10 feet high. Orientated southeast-northwest, the mound is lower and narrower towards the northwestern end. Shallow side ditches circa 30 feet across were visible on either side of the mound. There is no record of any excavation being undertaken. The barrow falls within the southwest portion of the Dorset Cursus, this stretch being known as the Gussage Cursus and which pre-dates the construction of the northwestern extension to Martin Down. The long barrow appears to pre-date construction of this Gussage Cursus, and was deliberately incorporated within it. The length of cursus running southwest from the terminal on Bottlebush Down was aligned exactly on the barrow, but drifted off course as it approached Gussage Hill but began to drift off course as the barrow moved out of view, an adjustment being necessary on Gussage Down in order to enclose the barrow. Barrett et al (1991) have argued that the positioning of the Bottlebush Down terminal was chosen in order that the barrow, when viewed from the terminal, would appear on the horizon. Penny and Wood (1973) suggested that this would also allow the midwinter sun to be observed setting behind the barrow when seen from the Bottlebush terminal. This is the most plausible of Penny and Wood's various alignments, and is accepted by Barrett et al.
More information : (ST 99301382) Long Barrow (NR). (1)

A long barrow, situated on the crest of Gussage Hill, lies
within the Cursus (SU 01 NW 91) and is clearly associated with
it. The barrow is at right-angles to the Cursus, but is
off-centre, being nearer the NW than the SE. It lies, too, among
the earthworks of the later settlement (ST 91 SE 3). The mound,
155ft long, 65ft across and up to 10ft high, is narrower and
lower towards the NW end. Shallow side-ditches, 30ft across,
are visible on either side. (2)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 6" 1963
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Source Number : 2
Source : An inventory of historical monuments in the County of Dorset. Volume five : east Dorset
Source details :
Page(s) : 25
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Source Number : 3
Source : Dorset barrows
Source details :
Page(s) : 79
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Source Number : 4
Source : Landscape, monuments and society : the prehistory of Cranborne Chase
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Source Number : 5
Source : The Archaeological Journal
Source details : Penny, A and JE Wood. The DOrset Cursus Complex - a Neolithic Astronomical Observatory?
Page(s) : 44-76
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) : 130, 1973
Source Number : 6
Source : Non-megalithic long barrows and allied structures in the British Neolithic
Source details : [Cranborne Chase: ST 15]
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Vol(s) : no.52
Source Number :
Source : RCHME: Long Barrows, Gussage St Michael, Dorset
Source details :
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Source : RCHME: Gussage Hill Long Barrow, Gussage St Michael, Dorset
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Early Neolithic
Display Date : Early Neolithic
Monument End Date : -3300
Monument Start Date : -4000
Monument Type : Long Barrow
Evidence : Earthwork

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : DO 77
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : ST 91 SE 9
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 210019
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 890546
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 210005
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1307203
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :