Newlands Corner Barrow


Newlands Corner is a well-known beauty spot sitting on the North Downs’ chalk ridge 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 to 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. Still, 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.jpgSt Marthas Hill in the west, as  seen from the barrow

Plan of Newlands Corner Barrow


This barrow was instrumental in first determining the value of the Druid Mile (DM).  It is 6 DM from Whitmoor Barrow, with Merrow Church being on the 4 DM point.  The 2 DM point on this alignment is now in the pavement of Marlyn Drive on a housing estate in Burpham.  That point is close to a Romano-British settlement site.

Newlands Corner Barrow

Newlands Corner Barrow looking north-west

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