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Neolithic long barrow 320m north west of Skendleby Psalter

A Scheduled Monument in Skendleby, Lincolnshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.2252 / 53°13'30"N

Longitude: 0.1463 / 0°8'46"E

OS Eastings: 543378.6196

OS Northings: 371938.930049

OS Grid: TF433719

Mapcode National: GBR KTY.V2S

Mapcode Global: WHJLS.66XC

Entry Name: Neolithic long barrow 320m north west of Skendleby Psalter

Scheduled Date: 22 February 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013918

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27853

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Skendleby

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Ulceby All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln

Details

The monument includes the buried remains of a Neolithic long barrow located
70m above sea level on the south facing slope of the valley of a tributary of
the River Lymn. Although it cannot be seen on the ground, the monument is
clearly visible as a cropmark from the air, and has been recorded on aerial
photographs. The cropmark represents a buried elongated wedge-shaped
enclosure measuring c.50m by 20m, aligned north-south and delineated by an
infilled, unbroken ditch. The northern end is rounded, with straight sides
tapering to a more rectangular southern end. This ditch form is thought to
represent the simpler type of Lincolnshire long barrow which consisted of an
area set aside for mortuary activities and defined by a ditch which may have
supported a palisade and facade or an arrangement of posts. Structures and
deposits associated with these activities will survive as buried features
within the enclosure. When the funerary rituals were completed, the enclosure
would have been covered with scraped earth rather than the large mound which
characterises the elaborated form of Lincolnshire long barrow.
The monument is one of a number of long barrows in the area, which includes
the Skendleby group situated c.1km to the south, and the two burial mounds
known as Deadmen's Graves at a similar distance to the east. These monuments
are associated with waterways and with the Bluestone Heath Road which is
thought to have originated as a prehistoric trackway and which was later
overlain by a Roman road.

MAP EXTRACT
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
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.

Although the Neolithic long barrow 320m north west of Skendleby Psalter is not
visible on the ground, its buried remains will retain valuable archaeological
deposits on and in the old ground surface and within the fills of the ditch.
These will provide information relating to the dating and construction of the
monument and the sequence of funerary ritual. Environmental evidence
preserved in the same deposits will illustrate the nature of the landscape in
which the monument was constructed and used. The monument is one of a number
of long barrows in the area all of which are associated with waterways and
with the Bluestone Heath Road which is thought to have originated as a
prehistoric trackway. The frequency of these monuments indicates the ritual
significance of the location and has interesting implications for the study of
demography and settlement patterns during the prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
discussions, Jones, D, (1995)
oblique monochrome photograph, Everson, P, 3218/10, (1986)
oblique monochrome photograph, St Joseph, J K, BRW 052, (1974)

Source: Historic England

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