On the western edges of Basingstoke, at Kempshott, could once be found this ancient site—destroyed many decades ago. It was one of number of similar prehistoric burial mounds in the area. First described in a listing of tumuli by Mr Andrews (1898) who told us that it was “oval” in shape, the monument was completely destroyed in 1939 and according to the Royal Commission (1979) lads,
“its site now lies beneath a house at the southwest corner of Kempshott Lane and Homesteads Lane.”
When the house where it once stood was being constructed, a collared urn was recovered from the tomb, which the Royal Commission thought indicated “that the monument (was) likely to have been of early Bronze Age date”—but obviously we cannot be sure. The site was listed in Leslie Grinsell’s (1979) extensive survey of prehistoric tombs in the area, in which he suggested it may have been a long barrow.
Andrews, S., “A Short List of Some Tumuli in North Hampshire,” in Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club & Archaeological Society, volume 4, 1898.
Grinsell, Leslie V., “Hampshire Barrows – part 3,” in Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club & Archaeological Society, volume 14, 1940.
Royal Commission on Historic Monuments, England, Long Barrows in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, HMSO: London 1979.
Willis, G.W., “Bronze Age Burials round Basingstoke,” in Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club & Archaeological Society, volume 18, 1953.
This was one site amongst a good cluster of prehistoric burials in this area, although most of this particular tomb has been destroyed. It was first located and described as a result of aerial surveying in the 1940s and described soon after the war in a short article by Mr G.C. Dunning (1946), who told us:
“An unrecorded long barrow is situated at South Wonston, immediately north of Worthy Down, in the parish of Wonston, 4 miles due north of Winchester (6-in OS Hampshire sheet 33 SW), Lat. 51° 7′ 15″ N, Long. 1° 19′ 30” W. The site was first noticed from the air in 1944 and has been visited several times. The barrow is enclosed in a loop of the 350ft contour, and the subsoil is chalk.
“The axis of the barrow is north-east to south-west; at about one-third from the west end it is crossed by a road. West of the road about 90ft of the mound is preserved in good condition and grass-grown; it is 60ft wide and 5ft high. On the south side the flanking ditch can be traced; a hedge runs along the north side and the ditch is obscured by a garden. A flint end-scraper, 3in long, with thick white patination, was picked out of the section of the mound on the west side of the road. East of the road the mound extends into a cultivated field and it has been much reduced by constant ploughing; it is now about 1ft high and the soil contains more chalk than elsewhere in the field. The ditches are parallel and show up as dark lines on the air-photograph (see b&w image), taken in April 1946. The ditches are continued round the east end of the barrow, an unusual feature proved in the long barrow at Holdenhurst, near Christchurch, Hants… No indications of structures or burial-pits can be detected within the east end of the mound, which is therefore of the unchambered type and built of chalk rubble… The total length of the barrow is about 340ft; it is thus probably the longest barrow in Hampshire.”
Mr Dunning goes onto mention the existence of another round barrow in the same field, a little to the east, “about 80ft in diameter and 3ft high.” Since his day, several other monuments have been found in the locale.
Dunning, G.C., “A New Long Barrow in Hampshire,” in Antiquaries Journal, volume 26, 1946.
Royal Commission on Historical Monuments, England, Long Barrows in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, HMSO: London 1979.