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Neolithic long barrow 940m NNW of Mount Pleasant

A Scheduled Monument in Rothwell, Lincolnshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.4666 / 53°27'59"N

Longitude: -0.2992 / 0°17'57"W

OS Eastings: 513000.743934

OS Northings: 398000.284405

OS Grid: TF130980

Mapcode National: GBR VXCC.01

Mapcode Global: WHHJ8.C4R7

Entry Name: Neolithic long barrow 940m NNW of Mount Pleasant

Scheduled Date: 12 January 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013889

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27862

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Rothwell

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Nettleton St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln

Details

The monument includes the buried remains of a Neolithic long barrow located
150m above sea level overlooking the valley of the Nettleton Beck, c.900m WNW
of Rothwell Top Farm and c.200m west of High Street. The existence of the
monument was first noted as a result of aerial reconnaissance in 1977 when it
appeared in photographs as a cropmark site showing evidence for an infilled
sub-rectangular ditch with convex ends enclosing an area approximately 30m by
15m, aligned NNW-SSE. The site was subsequently the subject of a magnetometer
survey which confirmed the findings of the aerial photography. In 1993 the
site was investigated by archaeologists in advance of the construction of the
Skitter to Hatton gas pipeline. Limited excavation confirmed that the site was
a Neolithic long barrow enclosed by a quarry ditch between c.4m and 7m wide
from which a large quantity of prehistoric and Romano-British pottery was
recovered. The ditch had been recut twice, indicating that the monument
continued to be a focus of attention and activity long after its initial
construction, as also demonstrated by the wide date range of pottery
fragments. Large pieces of flint and chalk blocks found in the original ditch
cut and in the first recut give evidence for the method of construction. A
further ditch 0.33m deep by 1.1m wide was located beyond the quarry ditch to
the north east. This was thought to represent an independent structure
predating the final recut. A substantial feature containing evidence of
burning was recorded at the centre of the monument but was not excavated. No
material suitable for radiocarbon dating was recovered, but the form of the
monument together with the relative dating provided by the pottery indicate
that the barrow was constructed in the later Neolithic period. Environmental
samples taken at the time of the excavation suggested that the monument was
constructed in an area of open grassland which subsequently became colonised
by scrub vegetation. The site is now preserved under redeposited soil and,
while there has been limited disturbance as a result of the archaeological
investigations, the southern portion of the barrow in which funerary activity
would have been concentrated, is untouched.

The monument is one of a number of Neolithic and Bronze Age funerary sites
associated with the prehistoric trackway now formalised as High Street.

MAP EXTRACT
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, generally with
flanking ditches. They acted as funerary monuments during the Early and Middle
Neolithic periods (3400-2400 BC), representing the burial places of Britain's
early farming communities, and as such are amongst the oldest field monuments
surviving 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 activities preceding the construction of the barrow mound,
including ditched enclosures containing structures related to various rituals
of burial. It is probable, therefore, that long barrows acted as important
spiritual sites for their local communities over considerable periods of time.
The long barrows of the Lincolnshire Wolds and their adjacent regions have
been identified as a distinct regional grouping of monuments in which the
flanking ditches are continued around the ends of the barrow mound, either
continuously or broken by a single causeway towards one end. More than 60
examples of this type of monument are known; a small number of these survive
as earthworks, but the great majority of sites are known as cropmarks and
soilmarks recorded on aerial photographs where no mound is evident at the
surface.
Not all Lincolnshire long barrows include mounds. Current limited
understanding of the processes of Neolithic mortuary ritual in Lincolnshire is
that the large barrow mound represents the final phase of construction which
was not reached by all mortuary monuments. Many of the sites where only the
ditched enclosure is known have been interpreted as representing monuments
which had fully evolved mounds, but in which the mound itself has been
degraded or removed by subsequent agricultural activity. In a minority of
cases, however, the ditched enclosure will represent a monument which never
developed a burial mound.
As a distinctive regional grouping of one of the few types of Neolithic
monuments known, these sites are of great value. They were all in use over a
great period of time and are thus highly representive of changing cultures of
the peoples who built and maintained them. All forms of long barrow on the
Lincolnshire Wolds and its adjacent regions are therefore considered to be of
national importance and all examples with significant surviving remains are
considered worthy of protection.

The Neolithic long barrow 940m NNW of Mount Pleasant is an important example
of this class of monument, observed as a cropmark site and confirmed by
geophysical survey and part excavation. A substantial portion of the ditch
survives, together with internal features cut into the original ground
surface. The limited excavation served to establish, beyond doubt, the
prehistoric nature of the site as well as providing valuable evidence relating
to the construction of the mound and the ditch, and the timespan during which
the monument was built. This archaeological work left the southern portion of
the monument undisturbed, including the area which would have seen the
greatest activity. Much rare and valuable archaeological information will be
retained in the ditch fills and within the area of the mound, and organic
material preserved in these contexts will provide further evidence
illustrating the nature of the landscape in which the monument was constructed
and used. A further ditch thought to be broadly contemporary with the barrow
survives beneath the present ground surface and archaeological deposits
contained within its fills together with its stratigraphic relationship to the
monument will provide information concerning prehistoric land use patterns
around the barrow.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Bonnor, L D, Griffiths, D W, Skitter to Hatton 4050mm diameter pipeline, 1993, (1993), 39
Bonnor, L D, Griffiths, D W, Skitter to Hatton 4050mm diameter pipeline, 1993, (1993), 40
Bonnor, L D, Griffiths, D W, Skitter to Hatton 4050mm diameter pipeline, 1993, (1993), 31
Bonnor, L D, Griffiths, D W, Skitter to Hatton 4050mm diameter pipeline, 1993, (1993), 36,40
Bonnor, L D, Griffiths, D W, Skitter to Hatton 4050mm diameter pipeline, 1993, (1993), 33
Bonnor, L D, Griffiths, D W, Skitter to Hatton 4050mm diameter pipeline, 1993, (1993), 39-41
Bonnor, L D, Griffiths, D W, Skitter to Hatton 4050mm diameter pipeline, 1993, (1993), 35
Other
oblique monochrome photograph, Everson, P, 2997/26-28, (1977)

Source: Historic England

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