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Five Marys
Five Marys Tumuli - geograph.org.uk - 417487.jpg
Looking east along the line of barrows
Location near Chaldon Herring, Dorset
Type Round barrows
History
Periods Bronze Age
Site notes
Excavation dates 19th century
Archaeologists Duchess of Berry
Designated 27 February 1957
Reference no. 1013344

The Five Marys is a group of Bronze Age round barrows near the village of Chaldon Herring, in Dorset, England. The site is a scheduled monument.

Description

The barrows, on a west–east ridge overlooking Chaldon Herring to the south, are in an almost straight line. In Taylor's Map of Dorset, of 1765, they are shown as "Five Meers" (boundary points).

There are two bowl barrows, and four or seven bell barrows, according to different surveys. A pond barrow has been discerned but was not visible on other inspections. The largest barrow has height 3.3 metres (11 ft). All but one have been damaged by antiquarian excavation.

Excavation

Two of the barrows were excavated before 1866 by the Duchess of Berry; she was staying in Lulworth Castle, in exile after the dethronement of Charles X of France in 1830.

The two barrows excavated are thought to be the first and third large barrows from the west end. A deep chalk-cut grave was found in each barrow, each containing a male skeleton in a sitting position, with stag antlers overlying each shoulder. One barrow also contained a female skeleton, with similarly placed stag antlers, and the other had a secondary cremation in an urn.

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