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Neolithic long barrow 300m ESE of Walesby Top Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Walesby, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.418 / 53°25'4"N

Longitude: -0.2755 / 0°16'31"W

OS Eastings: 514708.081216

OS Northings: 392629.510583

OS Grid: TF147926

Mapcode National: GBR VXJX.5G

Mapcode Global: WHHJG.RC01

Entry Name: Neolithic long barrow 300m ESE of Walesby Top Farm

Scheduled Date: 23 February 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013914

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27889

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Walesby

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Walesby St Mary and All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes the buried remains of a Neolithic long barrow located
140m above sea level below the summit of a plateau above and to the east of a
tributary of the Brimmer Beck, 300m ESE of Walesby Top Farm. Although the long
barrow cannot be seen on the ground it has been recorded as a soilmark on
aerial photographs. The soilmark represents a mortuary enclosure covered by a
mound measuring c.56m by 28m and aligned south east-north west. This enclosure
would have been a focus for ritual activities accompanying the deposition of
human remains, and structures and deposits relating to these activities will
survive as buried features. In many cases in Lincolnshire these enclosures
were, on completion of the rituals, given a low covering of scraped earth.
However, the extensive spread of chalk around the enclosure of this monument
is thought to indicate that this is an example of a long barrow elaborated by
the construction of a large mound which has since been degraded and dispersed
by ploughing. The encircling ditch from which material for the mound would
have been quarried cannot be seen but is thought to survive beneath the
present ground surface, evidence for its existence being obscured by the
spread of chalk.
The aerial photographs also show the cropmarks of a Roman building and its
associated closes, centred c.100m to the west which is the subject of a
separate scheduling.
The monument lies approximately 980m to the south of a similar long barrow
which is the subject of a separate scheduling (SM 27873), and is one of a
number of such monuments in the area which are associated with river valleys
and with the High Street which originated as a prehistoric trackway.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 5 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 long barrow 300m ESE of Walesby Top Farm has been degraded by
ploughing, it will retain valuable archaeological deposits on and in the
buried surface of the central mortuary enclosure, and in the fills of the
ditch. These will contain information relating to the dating and construction
of the monument and to the sequence of mortuary ritual at the site.
Environmental evidence preserved in the same deposits will contain information
on the nature of the landscape in which the monument was constructed and used.
The long barrow lies some 980m south of a similar monument (the subject of a
separate scheduling, SM 27873) and is one of a number of such monuments in the
area which are associated with river valleys and with the prehistoric trackway
now formalised as the High Street. The frequency of these long barrows is
indicative of the ritual significance of the location and, as well as posing
wider questions concerning riverine and land communications, has implications
for the study of demography and settlement patterns during the prehistoric

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Everson, P E, Hayes, T, Lincolnshire from the Air, (1984), 33-41
discussions, Jones, D, (1995)
oblique monochrome photographs, St Joseph, J K, AKA 20, 23, (1964)

Source: Historic England

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