Ancient Monuments

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King Hengist Rein long cairn

A Scheduled Monument in Sprotbrough and Cusworth, Doncaster

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Latitude: 53.5132 / 53°30'47"N

Longitude: -1.2067 / 1°12'24"W

OS Eastings: 452701.887865

OS Northings: 402131.422003

OS Grid: SE527021

Mapcode National: GBR NW0T.KB

Mapcode Global: WHDD1.FYLK

Entry Name: King Hengist Rein long cairn

Scheduled Date: 12 June 1962

Last Amended: 19 June 1991

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013204

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13238

County: Doncaster

Civil Parish: Sprotbrough and Cusworth

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): South Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Sprotbrough St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Sheffield


The monument is a long cairn measuring c.40m x c.15m and orientated north-
west to south-east. It is parallel-sided and varies between 1.5m and 2m in
height. Construction ditches round the monument are buried under accumulated
soil and debris. A Neolithic date for the monument is indicated by its shape
and its low-lying situation, and is further corroborated by partial
excavation carried out by W. C. Lukis in c.1864, when it was revealed that
the cairn contained at least two stone burial chambers. A bronze sword also
found during excavation indicates the reuse of the cairn in the Bronze Age.
The monument is one of several long barrows known to have existed in the
Sprotbrough-High Melton area. A telegraph pole and its stays embedded in the
monument are excluded from the scheduling, as is a cess-pit within the ditch
on the south-east side. However, the ground beneath is included.

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

Long barrows were constructed as earthen or drystone mounds with flanking
ditches and acted as funerary monuments during the Early and Middle Neolithic
periods (3400-2400 BC). They represent the burial places of Britain's early
farming communities and, as such, are amongst the oldest field monuments
surviving visibly in the present landscape. Where investigated, long barrows
appear to have been used for communal burial, often with only parts of the
human remains having been selected for interment. Certain sites provide
evidence for several phases of funerary monument preceding the barrow and,
consequently, it is probable that long barrows acted as important ritual sites
for local communities over a considerable period of time. Some 500 long
barrows are recorded in England. As one of the few types of Neolithic
structure to survive as earthworks, and due to their comparative rarity, their
considerable age and their longevity as a monument type, all long barrows are
considered to be nationally important.

The King Hengist Rein example is one of only a very small sample surviving in
South Yorkshire and thus is extremely rare. Although partially disturbed by
quarrying at its western end, most of the monument survives and contains
substantial in situ deposits. It is therefore of considerable archaeological

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Allport, C H, History of Conisbrough, (1913)
Lukis, W C, 'Journal of the British Archaeo Association' in Journal of the British Archaeological Association, (1864), 233
Manby, T G, 'Scottish Archaeological Forum' in Long Barrows in Northern England, (1970)

Source: Historic England

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