Ancient Monuments

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Neolithic long barrow 750m SSW of Cabourne Vale

A Scheduled Monument in Rothwell, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.4817 / 53°28'54"N

Longitude: -0.3017 / 0°18'6"W

OS Eastings: 512798.0942

OS Northings: 399670.582072

OS Grid: TF127996

Mapcode National: GBR VXB5.HM

Mapcode Global: WHHJ2.BRL7

Entry Name: Neolithic long barrow 750m SSW of Cabourne Vale

Scheduled Date: 23 December 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013920

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27857

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Rothwell

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Nettleton St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes the buried remains of a Neolithic long barrow located
120m above sea level, on the eastern slope of the valley of the Nettleton Beck
some 750m SSW of Cabourne Vale. Although the monument cannot be seen on the
ground it has been recorded on aerial photographs as a cropmark representing
the buried features including a mortuary enclosure encircled by a ditch. The
monument is aligned south east-north west and measures c.52m by 30m. The ditch
is rectangular in plan with rounded ends, that to the north west being
slightly flattened. The central enclosure was set aside for funerary
activities and defined by an unbroken 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. Some
Lincolnshire long barrows were elaborated by the construction of large
earthwork mounds during the final ritual phase. The material for such mounds
was quarried from encircling ditches which are characterised by single
causeways. However, the unbroken nature of this ditch indicates that this was
a form of long barrow which, when the mortuary rituals were complete, was
given a low covering of scraped earth rather than a high mound.
The monument is one of a number of long barrows associated with the Nettleton
Beck; the others are the subjects of separate schedulings.

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 750m SSW of Cabourne Vale is not visible on the
ground, it will retain valuable archaeological deposits on and in the buried
surface of the mortuary enclosure and in the fills of the ditch. These will
contain evidence of the monument's dating and construction and the sequence of
mortuary ritual. Environmental evidence preserved in the same deposits will
contain information on the nature of the landscape in which the monument was
set. The monument is one of a number of long barrows which are associated with
the Nettleton Beck and with High Street which originated as a prehistoric
trackway. These associations pose wider questions concerning riverine and land
communications, and have interesting implications for the study of demography
and settlement patterns during the prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England


discussions, Jones, D, (1995)
oblique monochrome photographs, Everson, P, 2977/18-20, (1979)

Source: Historic England

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