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Medieval boundary earthworks at Queen's Bank, 100m south east of Providence House

A Scheduled Monument in The Moultons, Lincolnshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.7094 / 52°42'33"N

Longitude: -0.0781 / 0°4'41"W

OS Eastings: 529937.045334

OS Northings: 314148.448141

OS Grid: TF299141

Mapcode National: GBR JZP.51T

Mapcode Global: WHHN1.S507

Entry Name: Medieval boundary earthworks at Queen's Bank, 100m south east of Providence House

Scheduled Date: 15 December 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009980

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20817

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: The Moultons

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Moulton St James

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln

Details

The monument includes medieval earthwork banks and ditches which
are the remains of part of the northern boundary of the monastic
lands of Crowland Abbey, located on the boundary between the
parishes of Crowland to the south and Moulton to the north.
The abbey itself lies nearly 7km to the south west but, from
the foundation of the original monastery in the eighth century,
the monastic lands were considered to comprise the whole of
Crowland Island, and eventually they extended to adjacent lands
taken in from the surrounding fen.

The earthworks at this point comprised originally three parallel
east-west banks, set approximately 30m - 35m apart and flanked by
ditches. The middle bank survives under pasture for a distance of
approximately 395m, standing to a height of approximately 0.9m above
the prevailing ground surface and 1.4m above the older, buried ground
surface on which it is constructed. The ditches along either side of
the bank have become largely infilled, but are visible as linear
hollows approximately 7m wide and 0.4m deep in the ground surface.
The southern of the three banks lies under the bridleway on Queen's
Bank, and the ditch to the north of it is occupied by a modern dyke.
The northern bank has been levelled, but the line of it to the east is
recorded on older OS maps, and the ditches associated with it will
survive as buried features.

The earthworks extended originally for a distance of at least 5.5km,
from Brotherhouse Bar eastwards to Aswick Grange, and delimited lands
belonging to Crowland Abbey in Great Postland Fen, which were a valuable
resource providing grazing, fodder, fishing, reed beds and peat for fuel.
This land was disputed by the neighbouring men of Holland, to the north,
and an incursion by them in 1189 led to a lengthy lawsuit, finally
resolved in 1202, by a charter of King John which confirmed the abbey's
rights.

All field boundary fences and gates are excluded from the scheduling,
as are a water trough and supply pipe at the western end of the site,
modern drainage dykes, and also the surface of the bridleway, although
the ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Medieval earthworks comprising single or multiple banks and ditches were often
constructed to enclose woods and parks, or to mark boundaries not otherwise
defined by local topographical features. In the Fens, such earthworks were
sometimes constructed to enclose reclaimed land, and also to divide areas of
fen used for different purposes, such as grazing and fisheries, in addition to
the major works of the sea and fen banks which protected the pasture and
arable land from flooding. Large parts of the fens were in ecclesiastical and
monastic ownership and the boundaries of these holdings, and the associated
rights of common and fisheries, were matters of importance and, often, of
dispute. Few medieval boundary earthworks survive in the Fens. Those which do
survive as upstanding features and which have well documented associations
with particular settlements or land holders, such as monasteries, preserve
valuable information relating to the history of land use in the region and are
therefore considered to merit protection.

The banks and ditches at Queen's Bank, which constitute the most intact
remaining section of an extensive and well documented monastic boundary,
survive well and are a rare example in the region of a medieval multiple
linear earthwork. Archaeological information concerning the construction of
the earthworks, activities in the area immediately around the earthworks, and
also the local environment during the medieval period, will be contained in
and beneath the material of the banks and in the infill of the ditches.
Evidence for land use predating the construction of the earthworks will also
be preserved in the soils buried beneath the banks. The relationship of the
earthworks to Crowland Abbey, and their association with historically
documented land holdings, gives them a particular interest.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Hayes, P P, Lane, T M, 'East Anglian Archaeology' in The Fenland Project 5: Lincolnshire Survey, The South West Fens, , Vol. 55, (1992), 202
Stocker, D, 'Pre-Viking Lindsey' in The Early Church in Lincolnshire, (1993), 101-106
Other
Dossier for H B M C, Fenland Evaluation Project: Lincolnshire, (1990)
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:10560
Source Date:
Author:
Publisher:
Surveyor:

Source: Historic England

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