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Kingston Down Grave 242

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posted on 10.11.2021, 15:30 by Helena HamerowHelena Hamerow
We this day spent much time and pains (no less than five men for eight hours having been employed upon it), in endeavouring to overturn a very large mound, or tumulus, at the east corner of this burial-ground, next Barham Down, and close to the road leading from Kingston to Ileden, on the left hand. It was about eighteen paces diameter, and about six feet in perpendicular height above the surface of the natural soil. When we had got about half way through it, we found (as indeed I before suspected from some sinkings on its top) that it had been opened before. For we met with nearly a whole tobacco-pipe, of that sort which were used when first tobacco was used in England, viz., with a large and short strig, and a very small and narrow bowl. This lay nearly at the bottom of the highest part of the tumulus. We may, therefore, from this circumstance conclude that this mound was opened not long after the reign of king James the First, or perhaps in it. That part of it which we this day turned over; before we came to the pipe. was very round and even, and did not appear to have been disturbed since it was first thrown up; and we found nothing but, here and there, an oyster shell and a boar's tusk, as also the shin-bone of an ox. These, I imagine, happened to be on the surface of the natural earth, when it was scooped off in order to the raising of this great mound or tumulus, whichever it was designed for. It is impossible for me to determine to which of these rises it was put; but as we found no human bones or pieces of urns in that half of it which we entirely dug down, and very carefully turned over and examined; and as it stands on a great eminence on the utmost verge and corner of the burying-ground, and is not of so round and regular a shape as tumuli generally are, I am rather inclined to think it was intended as a sort of rampart or place of guard, rather than a tumulus or monument for the dead.

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