Ancient Monuments

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Tathwell long barrow, 350m NNW of the junction of Horncastle Road and New Lane

A Scheduled Monument in Tathwell, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.3214 / 53°19'17"N

Longitude: -0.0579 / 0°3'28"W

OS Eastings: 529457.606413

OS Northings: 382259.42107

OS Grid: TF294822

Mapcode National: GBR XZ11.82

Mapcode Global: WHHJZ.2SP2

Entry Name: Tathwell long barrow, 350m NNW of the junction of Horncastle Road and New Lane

Scheduled Date: 20 December 1934

Last Amended: 12 January 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013892

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27876

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Tathwell

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Raithby St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a Neolithic long
barrow located 130m above sea level c.350m north of the A153 Louth-Horncastle
road, close to its junction with New Lane leading into the village of
Tathwell. It is situated beneath a low ridge overlooking a tributary of the
River Lud. The barrow is clearly visible from the road, lying within a patch
of scrubland surrounded by arable cultivation. The mound measures
approximately 32m by 12m, standing to a height of c.1.7m and is aligned south
east-north west. The surrounding ditch from which material for the
construction of the mound was quarried is not evident but is expected to
survive buried beneath the present ground surface. No archaeological
investigation is known to have taken place and the monument is thought to be
substantially undisturbed.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 12 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
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.

Tathwell long barrow is a substantial and prominent earthwork which is clearly
visible from the Louth-Horncastle road (A153). It is largely unaffected by
ploughing and, since it is not thought to have been the subject of any
archaeological investigation, rare and valuable archaeological deposits will
be preserved beneath the mound and within the fills of the buried ditch
illustrating the nature of funerary practices in the Neolithic period. These
features will also retain environmental evidence relating to the nature of the
landscape in which the monument was set.

Source: Historic England

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