Ancient Monuments

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Four bowl barrows 310m south east of Barlings Abbey: part of Barlings-Stainfield barrow cemetery.

A Scheduled Monument in Apley, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.245 / 53°14'41"N

Longitude: -0.3621 / 0°21'43"W

OS Eastings: 509391.484379

OS Northings: 373246.725048

OS Grid: TF093732

Mapcode National: GBR TZXX.DG

Mapcode Global: WHGJ2.DPSP

Entry Name: Four bowl barrows 310m south east of Barlings Abbey: part of Barlings-Stainfield barrow cemetery.

Scheduled Date: 22 December 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009996

English Heritage Legacy ID: 20809

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Apley

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Barlings St Edward

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes four bowl barrows which form a cluster on the western
side of the Barlings-Stainfield barrow cemetery, located on a sand and gravel
spur at the north eastern edge of the Witham peat fens. The barrows are
visible under pasture as roughly circular earthen mounds, three of them
grouped closely together at a distance of c.55m to the west of the fourth.
Together, the barrows occupy an area with maximum dimensions of c.130m
east-west by 70m north-south. The largest mound, which is the most northerly
of the western group, stands to a height of c.0.65m above the modern ground
surface and covers an area c.26m in diameter. An irregular hollow in the top
of it, measuring c.0.3m deep and up to 10m in length, marks the site of an old
investigation. The second and third mounds, which overlap one another, lie
respectively c.8m south west and c.15m south west of the first, covering areas
c.21m and c.24m in diameter and both standing to a height of c.0.5m. A hollow
measuring c.8m by 5m in the top of the third and most southerly mound
indicates that this also has undergone a limited exploration. The fourth
mound, which lies due east of the first described, is c.0.8m in height, with
an asymmetrical profile, slightly flattened on the south side, and covers an
area c.22m in diameter. It is probable that all four mounds are encircled by
ditches which survive as buried features, although no trace of these is
visible on the surface. Borehole samples have shown that the ground surface on
a level with the base of the barrow mounds, together with the lower part of
the mounds themselves, has been covered by later alluvial deposits and peat
and lies at a depth of between 0.5m and 0.7m below the present ground surface.
A further eleven barrows, which formed part of the same original cemetery, are
the subject of a separate scheduling centred 300m to the east.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They comprise
closely-spaced groups of up to 30 round barrows - rubble or earthen mounds
covering single or multiple burials. Most cemeteries developed over a
considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted as
a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period. They exhibit
considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including
several different types of round barrow, occasionally associated with earlier
long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them,
contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been
revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a
marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other
important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent
locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst
their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are
considered worthy of protection.

The group of four barrows 310m south east of Barlings Abbey form part of a
cemetery which includes at least 15 barrows of various different types. The
four barrows survive well as upstanding earthworks, and the areas of
disturbance, indicated by the hollows on top of two of the mounds, are small
in relation to the whole. The barrows will retain important archaeological
information concerning their construction and the manner and duration of their
use, and soils buried beneath the barrow mounds will contain evidence for the
local environment, both at the time of and prior to their construction. The
preservation, also, beneath substantial later deposits, of a broadly
contemporary ground surface between the barrows ensures the survival of
evidence important for the study of the development and use of the cemetery as
a whole. The cemetery is one of four which have been recorded on the edge of
the Witham Fens.

Source: Historic England


Dossier for H B M C, Fenland Evaluation Project: Lincolnshire, (1990)
Dossier for H B M C, Fenland Evaluation Project: Lincolnshire, (1990)

Source: Historic England

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