The Ancient History of the Village...

The Neolithic Period  2500 BC (New Stone Age) - 1900 BC

TOWARDS 2500 BC less primitive people began arriving in southern England from Europe, and this heralded the beginning of the Neolithic or New Stone Age.
These immigrants were far more advanced than the Palaeolithic inhabitants already living here, for the newcomers practised a primitive form of agriculture, and brought with them domesticated livestock and seed.
Their stone implements, which included agricultural tools as well as weapons, were much more highly finished, being often ground and polished. These Neolithic people were also able to make pottery, and their way of life enabled them to live in more permanent settlements.


Some of the more noticeable remains of this period are the large burial mounds or long barrows.
There was until recently a very fine long barrow on Roke Down but it has now unfortunately been totally destroyed and ploughed over.
You can see its location at point 1 in the drawing below.

It was formerly considered one of the best in Dorset, and of imposing dimensions, being 190 feet (57 metres) long, 40 feet (12 metres) wide, and an average of 8 feet (21 metres) high.
Another barrow, shown at point 2 on the drawing above, is designated a long barrow on current Ordnance maps, but its shape is indistinct, and it may be a round barrow of later date.

Three Neolithic axe heads are recorded as having been found in this parish.
The first was found at an unspecified spot in the river at Bere Regis in 1896, and is an axe head of green stone.
Look at the drawing of it below...

Owing to the comparative softness of the stone its original ground and polished surface has become extensively pitted by years of weathering.
The second, a polished flint axe head was found in about 1907 at Bere Heath Farm.
Look at the drawing of it below...

Being of hard flint, its original polished surface remains, but the butt end has at some time been broken.
The third axe head was found in about 1951 in a field near Philliols Farm, and is of flint, 5j in. (137 mm) long.
Its shape is very similar to that of later bronze axeheads indicating that it is of late Neolithic date.