Coldrum Long Barrow – Kent, England - Atlas Obscura
Free iron-on Atlas Obscura badge when you preorder our new kids’ book. Shop now.

Kent, England

Coldrum Long Barrow

A Neolithic burial site built 1,000 years before Stonehenge. 

This ancient burial site, also known as the Coldrum Stones, was built 1,000 years before Stonehenge. The site is situated just below the Pilgrims Way at the foot of the North Downs. The ruins are around 5,000 years old, and as such it took experts a while to figure out how the monument once looked.

In Neolithic times, this site formed part of a series of long barrows, rectangular prehistoric monuments thought to be collective tombs. There is another, much smaller, long barrow in a private garden in the neighbouring village of Addington, along with a damaged long barrow divided by a lane.

Built out of earth and some 50 local sarsen stones, the long barrow consisted of a rectangular tomb enclosed by kerb-stones. At the eastern end was a stone chamber, into which human remains were placed on at least two separate occasions during the Early Neolithic period.  It would have been a huge feat of engineering to cut, transport and place the stones.

There is something strangely atmospheric about the location and it’s worth spending a little time walking around the site and taking in this unusual and unexplainable ambience. 

Know Before You Go

You can park nearby for free off Priestfield Lane. The site is a short walk from a car park and also not far from the small village church (also worth a visit).