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Neolithic long barrow and two Bronze Age bowl barrows 250m north east of Cold Harbour Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Stenigot, Lincolnshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.3177 / 53°19'3"N

Longitude: -0.0993 / 0°5'57"W

OS Eastings: 526712.734481

OS Northings: 381765.98484

OS Grid: TF267817

Mapcode National: GBR WZR2.9F

Mapcode Global: WHHJY.FVYZ

Entry Name: Neolithic long barrow and two Bronze Age bowl barrows 250m north east of Cold Harbour Farm

Scheduled Date: 2 July 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1016670

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29738

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Stenigot

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Asterby Group

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln

Details

The monument includes the buried remains of a Neolithic long barrow and two
Bronze Age bowl barrows situated 250m north east of Cold Harbour Farm above
and to the east of the source of a tributary of the River Bain. The long
barrow lies on a north facing slope, on the crest of which the two bowl
barrows are sited. The three barrows are within three separate areas of
protection.
Although the barrows cannot be seen on the ground, their infilled and buried
ditches are visible from the air as cropmarks (areas of enhanced crop growth
resulting from higher levels of moisture retained by the underlying
archaeological features). These cropmarks have been recorded on aerial
photographs since 1995.
The long barrow ditch defines the area set aside for funerary and ritual
activities. It is roughly trapezoidal in shape, measuring approximately 62m
long by 28m wide and oriented south east to north west, traversing the contour
of the hill slope. The curve of the broad south eastern terminal is less
pronounced than that to the north west. No causeway across the ditch is
apparent, and this may indicate that the long barrow is an example of the
simpler form which was not elaborated by the construction of a large earthwork
mound. Nevertheless, whilst some thickening of the side ditches suggests
recutting, it is possible that this took place to provide enough material to
give a low covering to the interior. Internal features such as ritual pits,
post holes and mortuary surfaces and deposits will be preserved beneath the
present ground surface.
The two bowl barrows are defined by circular ditches from which material for
the barrow mounds would have been quarried. The larger of the two lies
approximately 100m to the south east of the long barrow and measures about 35m
in diameter. The second barrow ditch has a diameter of approximately 15m and
is situated 215m to the east of the larger bowl barrow.
The long barrow is considered to belong to a group of similar monuments, both
simple and elaborated, which focussed on the River Bain and its tributaries
and with the prehistoric trackway now formalised as the Bluestone Heath Road.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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.

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments
dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most
examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as
earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple
burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often
acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar,
although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form
and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl
barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring
across most of lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are
a major historical element in the modern landscape and their considerable
variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of
protection.
Although the barrows 250m north east of Cold Harbour Farm cannot be seen on
the ground, their ditches survive well as infilled and buried features.
Further features not revealed by aerial photography will also be preserved
beneath the present ground surface. The fills of these features will contain
rare and valuable artefactual and organic evidence, including human remains,
relating to the construction, dating, periods of use and religious beliefs of
the barrow builders. Environmental deposits preserved in the same features may
illustrate the changing nature of the landscape in which the barrows were set.
The proximity of the Bronze Age barrows to the earlier, Neolithic, barrow
suggests that the location had enduring ritual significance.
The long barrow is one of a group focussed on the prehistoric trackway now
known as the Bluestone Heath Road, and on the valley of the River Bain.
Comparative evidence from all these barrows may have considerable significance
for the study of communications, settlement and demography during the
prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
oblique monochrome prints, TF2681/1-2, (1995)

Source: Historic England

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