Ancient Monuments

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Neolithic long barrow 870m ENE of Ruckland House

A Scheduled Monument in Maidenwell, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.2859 / 53°17'9"N

Longitude: 0.0129 / 0°0'46"E

OS Eastings: 534287.336106

OS Northings: 378433.154857

OS Grid: TF342784

Mapcode National: GBR XZJF.LT

Mapcode Global: WHHK6.5NFV

Entry Name: Neolithic long barrow 870m ENE of Ruckland House

Scheduled Date: 8 May 1996

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1015203

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27884

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Maidenwell

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Ruckland with Farforth, Maidenwell and Oxcombe S Olave

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes the buried remains of a Neolithic long barrow located
110m above sea level below the summit of a plateau overlooking a tributary of
the Great Eau. It is been recorded on aerial photographs as a soilmark 870m
ENE of Ruckland House. The monument, of slightly wedge shaped plan, has traces
of internal features which are considered to represent the remains of pits and
structures associated with mortuary activities. The soil mark represents the
remains of a great mound with which these features were once covered. The
monument is aligned north east-south west and measures approximately 60m by
28m. Chalk from the mound has been dispersed around the enclosure and is
thought to cover the area of the ditch from which it was quarried.
A second, similar monument situated in an adjacent field about 150m to the
south is the subject of a separate scheduling (SM 27885).

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.

Although the long barrow 870m ENE of Ruckland House has been degraded by
ploughing, rare archaeological deposits will remain on and in the buried
ground surface and in the fills of the ditch. These will contain valuable
information concerning the dating and construction of the monument and the
sequence of burial 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 close proximity of a second, similar monument about 150m to the south is
indicative of the ritual significance of the location during the
prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England


oblique monochrome photograph, Cox, C D, SF 3218/16, (1986)
oblique monochrome photographs, Everson, P, 2945/8, 10, 13, (1980)

Source: Historic England

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