Ancient Monuments

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Neolithic long barrow 850m ENE of Ruckland House

A Scheduled Monument in Maidenwell, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.2843 / 53°17'3"N

Longitude: 0.0134 / 0°0'48"E

OS Eastings: 534325.162085

OS Northings: 378254.901117

OS Grid: TF343782

Mapcode National: GBR XZJG.PD

Mapcode Global: WHHK6.5QN2

Entry Name: Neolithic long barrow 850m ENE of Ruckland House

Scheduled Date: 8 May 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013913

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27885

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Maidenwell

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Ruckland with Farforth, Maidenwell and Oxcombe S Olave

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes the buried remains of a Neolithic long barrow located
110m above sea level below the summit of a plateau overlooking athe valley of
a tributary of the Great Eau, some 850m ENE of Ruckland House. Although the
monument is not visible on the ground, it has been recorded on aerial
photographs as a soilmark indicating the location of the buried remains. The
monument appears as an enlongated, slightly wedge shaped feature in plan,
aligned south east-north west, and measuring c.54m by 22m.
The south eastern end is slightly concave while the north western end is
rounded. Changes in soil coloration are thought to indicate the remains of
pits and structures associated with mortuary activities which were originally
set within a great mound, the loction of which is now indicated by a dense
scatter of chalk; the material from which the barrow mound was constructed.
This material has been dispersed by ploughing and is thought to cover the area
of an enclosure ditch from which it would have been quarried.
A second, similar monument situated about 150m to the north is the subject of
a separate scheduling (SM 27884).

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 10 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.

Although the Neolithic long barrow 850m ENE of Ruckland House has been
degraded by ploughing, its buried remains are clearly visible from the air.
Rare archaeological deposits will be preserved on and within the buried
ground surface and in the fills of the ditch. These will contain valuable
information relating to the dating and construction of the monument and the
sequence of funerary ritual at the site. Environmental evidence retained in
the same deposits will contain information on the nature of the landscape in
which the monument was constructed and used. The close proximity of a second,
similar monument about 150m to the north is indicative of the ritual
significance of the location in the prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England


oblique monochrome photographs, Everson, P, 2945/8, 10, 13, (1980)

Source: Historic England

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