Newlands Corner Barrow

The NEWLANDS LINE, at 132 is 100 degrees from the Crooksbury Line, and again starts from Whitmoor Barrow.  At 4 DM it passes through St John’s Church at Merrow and carries on to Newlands Corner Barrow at 6 DM.  These distances are very precise and have been used as the decided criterion of the Druid Mile.  In Weston Wood the line brushes the side of the reported position of a disputed barrow, now completely destroyed by sand extraction, and then passes through the site of a Mesolithic settlement.  At 9 DM passes close by Shere Heath Barrow but not close enough to be taken as an alignment.

Newlands Corner is a well known beauty spot sitting on the chalk ridge of the North Downs to the south east of Guildford.  it enjoyed a brief moment of international fame when the author Agatha Christie disappeared and her car was found abandoned here in 1926.  She later turned up in Harrogate having suffered a mental breakdown.  These days it is mainly a large car park with a cafe much favoured by bikers.  The ancient drove road runs along the ridge and through the car park, crossing the A25 road between Guildford and Dorking.  Near this crossing, in nondescript woodland, sits the barrow.  It is indistinct and one could walk over it without realising that it is an Ancient Monument.  It does not appear to have been investigated in recent times, the last and possibly only excavation being by General Pitt-Rivers who lived in Merrow from 1873 t0 1877.  He excavated some half a dozen Saxon barrows in the area and a round barrow south east of his home on the northern slope dropping away from Newlands Corner.  This barrow contained a ‘British urn’ containing bone fragments but it is thought that he found the Newlands Corner Barrow already damaged and assuming that nothing could be gained  from further investigation did not spend further time on it.  The site of the Merrow Downs Barrow, also excavated by Pitt-Rivers, is now lost and no finds are recorded.

cropped-dscf02521.jpg

St Marthas Hill in the west as seen from the barrow

132_6 Newlands Corner Barrow

PLAN OF NEWLANDS CORNER

This barrow was instrumental in first determining the value of the Druid Mile (DM).  It is six DM from Whitmoor Barrow with Merrow Church being on the four DM point.  The two DM point on this alignment is now in the pavement of Marlyn Drive on a housing estate in Burpham.  This point is close to a Romano British settlement site.

Newlands Corner Barrow

Newlands Corner Barrow looking north west

Leave a Reply