Dumpton Park, Ramsgate, Kent

Tumulus (destroyed):  OS Grid Reference – TR 389 661

Archaeology & History

A little-known site which archaeologist Brian Philp (2002) called “a Bronze Age barrow”.  When the old Greyhound Stadium at Ramsgate was being demolished for a new housing estate, planning conditions required an archaeological evaluation and so Philps and his team set out to explore the area in February 2000.  They weren’t to be disappointed!  Unearthing a ring ditch nearly 20 yards (18m) across, they found that it had been cut into the local chalk some three feet deep.  Although there was no obvious entrance, the northeast section of the ancient monument,

“was found to be covered by a compact layer of flint metalling.  This was a wide and well-made surface or platform, perhaps of Iron Age date, which clearly covered the silted ring-ditch,  Nearby was a large male skeleton in a very shallow grave and with head missing due to later disturbances.”

The excavated ring ditch (after Philp 2002)

The excavated ring ditch (after Philp 2002)

The crouched skeleton (after Philp 2002)

The crouched skeleton (after Philp 2002)

But the best was yet to come!  In another section of the circular monument, cut into the chalk itself, they found a complete male skeleton laid in typical foetus position, on its left side, with a large beaker pot positioned in front of it.  These beakers are pretty common and tend to be seen as once holding food enabling the dead to eat in their journey into the Land of the Dead.  It makes sense.  The entire monument has since been completely destroyed.


  1. Philp, Brian, Archaeology in the Front Line, KARU: Dover 2002.


  1. Kent Archaeological Review

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian 2016

(Visited 54 times, 1 visits today)

Written by 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *