Ancient Monuments

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Two Neolithic long barrows 500m west of Field Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Belchford, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.2543 / 53°15'15"N

Longitude: -0.0957 / 0°5'44"W

OS Eastings: 527139.225782

OS Northings: 374728.235669

OS Grid: TF271747

Mapcode National: GBR WZST.23

Mapcode Global: WHHKB.HGNH

Entry Name: Two Neolithic long barrows 500m west of Field Farm

Scheduled Date: 19 April 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013915

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27891

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Belchford

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Hemingby group

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes the buried remains of two Neolithic long barrows located
90m above sea level on the western slope of a spur between the River Waring
and a tributary of the River Bain, 500m west of Field Farm. Although the
monument cannot be seen on the ground, it has been recorded on aerial
photographs as cropmarks representing the archaeological features buried
beneath the present ground surface. The long barrows appear as rectangular
enclosures which would have been the foci of rituals associated with the
deposition of human remains. Structures and deposits associated with these
activities will survive as buried features. These enclosures were defined by
ditches which may have supported timber palisades and facades, or arrangements
of posts. The southern barrow measures c.66m by 30m and is aligned south
east-north west, while the northern barrow (centered approximately 50m to the
north) is approximately 42m long by 20m wide and has a north-south alignment.
Some Lincolnshire long barrows were, on completion of the funerary rituals,
elaborated by the construction of large earthwork mounds which involved the
digging of encircling quarry ditches. These ditches are characteristically
broken by single causeways. However, many long barrows in the county are
thought to have taken a simpler form in which the ditched mortuary enclosure
common to both types was given a low covering of scraped earth, and it is
considered that the long barrows west of Field Farm are examples of two of
these simpler types.

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 Neolithic long barrows west of Field Farm are not visible on the
ground, the surfaces of the mortuary enclosures and the fills of the ditches
buried beneath the present ground surface will retain rare archaeological
deposits. These will contain valuable information relating to the dating and
construction of the long barrows and the sequence of mortuary rituals carried
out by their builders. The buried ground surface between the long barrows
will contain evidence, including deposits of pottery, flint and bone, of
activities around the barrows during and after the period of their use.
Environmental deposits preserved in the same features will contain information
on the nature of the landscape in which the monument was constructed and
used. The very close proximity of these two long barrows is unusual and is
indicative of the ritual significance of the location during the prehistoric

Source: Historic England


discussions, Jones, D, (1995)
oblique monochrome photographs, Everson, P, 2974/7,10,13, (1979)

Source: Historic England

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