Newly-built stone age long barrow opens for funerals in Kent

An ancient church in Kent that was abandoned for centuries will soon be involved in all of life's major milestones again - with the opening of a newly-built long barrow.

This means the dead can now be laid to rest in this tomb near Meopham - following the tradition of the neolithic age.

It's been built in the grounds of the Norman church at Dode. The site's owner, and keeper, Douglas Chapman, says the opening of Holly Barrow columbarium is the latest step in the rebirth of Dode Church.

The village of Dode was wiped out by the black death in the 14th century.

Dode's Norman church, which dates back to the reign of William II, was abandoned and left to ruin for more than 600 years.

Douglas Chapman bought the site in the 1990s and restored the church, which is now used for weddings and baby naming ceremonies.

Dode Church dates back to the 11th century

So now loved ones' ashes can be interred in the chambers of Holly Barrow, where there is room for up to 800 urns.

The barrow is made from a series of underground circular chambers, linked by a dry stone wall entry hall.

It's expected the barrow's first permanent resident will take up a place in 2022.

The old photographs of Dode Church are courtesy of Snodland Museum.