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Hengi-form monument and two bowl barrows 500m east of St Andrew's Church

A Scheduled Monument in Stainton le Vale, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.4339 / 53°26'1"N

Longitude: -0.2235 / 0°13'24"W

OS Eastings: 518115.288825

OS Northings: 394477.223185

OS Grid: TF181944

Mapcode National: GBR VXWQ.DS

Mapcode Global: WHHJ9.JYSF

Entry Name: Hengi-form monument and two bowl barrows 500m east of St Andrew's Church

Scheduled Date: 16 January 1998

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017463

English Heritage Legacy ID: 27919

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Stainton le Vale

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Stainton-le-Vale St Andrew

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes the buried remains of a Late Neolithic hengi-form
monument and two Bronze Age bowl barrows situated on the northern bank of the
Waithe Beck, some 500m east of St Andrew's Church. An infilled and buried
linear boundary ditch abuts the western arcs of the barrows and a sample of
this feature, together with the intervening ground between the hengi-form
monument and the barrows is also included in the scheduling.
Although this grouping cannot be seen on the ground, it is clearly visible
from the air as a series of cropmarks. The buried remains are revealed as
areas of more verdant growth resulting from the higher levels of moisture
retained by the buried ditches and further infilled features thought to be
funerary or ritual pits.
The hengi-form monument is delineated by an oval ditch broken by causeways to
the east and west, and enclosing an area measuring approximately 15m long by
10m wide. Material from the ditch would have been used to construct an outer
bank with entrances positioned to match the causeways. Although this bank has
been denuded by ploughing, its basal traces are thought to survive beneath the
present ground surface. Aerial evidence indicates at least two pits cut into
the interior. Such pits are commonly found to contain cremation deposits
which may also be found scattered within the central area and within the fills
of the ditch.
The buried remains of two Bronze Age bowl barrows are situated some 25m east
of the hengi-form monument. Both barrows are defined by circular ditches,
that to the south measuring approximately 15m in diameter, while the northern
barrow is some 12m across. Material quarried from these ditches would have
been used to construct large earthwork mounds over the central, primary
burials. Although the mounds have been reduced by ploughing, cropmark evidence
clearly indicates the positions of these burials.
An infilled and buried linear ditch running north-south abuts the western arcs
of both barrow ditches. This is thought to be a boundary feature which is cut
by the modern road to the north but can be traced in the field beyond. It is
not known whether this ditch is contemporary with either the barrows or the
hengi-form monument but a sample is included in the scheduling to preserve its
stratigraphic relationship with these features.
A large, roughly rectangular ditched enclosure lies to the east of the
monument. The function of this enclosure is not known but a small sample of
its western side, which is aligned with the barrows, is included in the
scheduling to preserve its relationship with the monument.

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

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Hengi-form monuments are ritual or ceremonial centres closely connected with
burial and dating to the Middle and Late Neolithic periods (3000-2000 BC).
They were constructed as flat, roughly circular enclosures comprising an area
of ground typically between 5m and 20m across enclosed by a ditch with
external bank. One entrance or two opposing entrances through the earthwork
provided access to the interior of the monument which often contained pits,
cremation pits, postholes and graves. Cremation pits and postholes were often
present around the perimeter of the site. They are distinguished from standard
henges by their small size and their more specific association with burial.
Finds from the ditches and interiors of hengi-form monuments provide important
evidence for the chronological development of the sites, the types of activity
that occurred within them and the nature of the environment in which they were
constructed. Most examples are situated on gravel terraces or on hill slopes.
They sometimes occur in pairs or groups of three in close proximity. Hengi-
form monuments are very rare nationally with only 24 examples known, although
this is likely to be an underestimate in view of the difficulties in
recognition. As one of the few types of identified Neolithic structures and in
view of their rarity, all hengi-form monuments are considered to be of
national importance.

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 orgnisations amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of
Although the hengi-form monument and the bowl barrows 500m east of St Andrew's
Church have been reduced by ploughing, rare and valuable archaeological
deposits, including human remains, will be preserved in the buried ground
surfaces, the fills of the buried ditches and the pits. These will provide
information concerning the dating and construction of the hengi-form monument
and the barrows, including the sequence of mortuary practices at the site.
Archaeological evidence retained in the fills of the linear boundary ditch and
that of the rectilinear enclosure may indicate a further sequence of land use.
The same deposits will also retain environmental evidence to illustrate the
nature of the landscape in which all these features were set.
The area of buried ground surface between the features will contain evidence
for ritual and funerary activities relating to the sites over a considerable
length of time, and may provide indications of the evolving nature of
religious practices during this period.
The close association of these features demonstrates the continuing ritual
significance of the location and may have wider implications for the study of
demography and settlement patterns during the prehistoric period.

Source: Historic England


Cropmarks at Stainton le Vale, (1985)
oblique colour photograph, SH 125, (1985)
oblique colour print, Cropmarks at Stainton le Vale, (1985)
oblique monochrome photograph, BUX 004, (1975)
oblique monochrome print, Cropmarks at Stainton le Vale, (1975)
oblique monochrome print, Cropmarks at Stainton le Vale: BUX 004, (1975)
Title: National Mapping Programme: Lincolnshire
Source Date: 1992
feature plotted from aerial evidence

Source: Historic England

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