Ancient Monuments

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Neolithic long barrow 495m north of Moon Wood, one of a pair of long barrows known as Deadmen's Graves

A Scheduled Monument in Claxby St Andrew, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.2245 / 53°13'28"N

Longitude: 0.1643 / 0°9'51"E

OS Eastings: 544582.955813

OS Northings: 371897.774239

OS Grid: TF445718

Mapcode National: GBR LW9.SFB

Mapcode Global: WHJLS.H6GX

Entry Name: Neolithic long barrow 495m north of Moon Wood, one of a pair of long barrows known as Deadmen's Graves

Scheduled Date: 23 August 1934

Last Amended: 22 February 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013923

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27874

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Claxby St Andrew

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Willoughby St Helen

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a Neolithic long
barrow located 50m above sea level below the summit of a spur above the source
of the Burlands Beck, 495m north of Moon Wood. The mound is aligned east-west,
is approximately 57m long by 18m wide and stands to a height of some 2m at the
eastern end, decreasing over its length to c.0.3m in the south. A small chalk
pit has encroached upon the mound's central section, but otherwise the mound
remains largely intact and there has been no interference at the eastern end
which will retain the highest concentration of mortuary evidence. Material for
the mound would have been quarried from an encircling causewayed ditch and
although this ditch is not now visible, it is thought to survive buried
beneath the present ground surface.
The monument is one of a closely associated pair of long barrows known as
Deadmen's Graves. Its partner, which is the subject of a separate scheduling,
is situated 150m to the WNW along the same hill contour.

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.

The Neolithic long barrow 495m north of Moon Wood stands as a prominent
earthwork clearly visible from the public highway. Despite the encroachment of
a chalk pit, the long barrow is largely intact and will therefore retain rare
archaeological deposits beneath the mound and in the fills of the buried
ditch. These will contain important information relating to its dating and
construction and to the sequence of mortuary ritual at the site.
Environmental evidence preserved in the same features will contain information
on the nature of the landscape in which the monument was constructed and used.
The monument is one of two closely associated long barrows known as Deadmen's
Graves. They form the only closely associated pair of mounded long barrows now
visible as earthworks in Lincolnshire, and their proximity indicates the
ritual significance of the location during the prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England

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