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Neolithic long barrow 350m south west of Sycamore Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Binbrook, Lincolnshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.4161 / 53°24'57"N

Longitude: -0.1663 / 0°9'58"W

OS Eastings: 521969.144189

OS Northings: 392596.899864

OS Grid: TF219925

Mapcode National: GBR WX8Y.S4

Mapcode Global: WHHJJ.FD1H

Entry Name: Neolithic long barrow 350m south west of Sycamore Farm

Scheduled Date: 16 April 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018893

English Heritage Legacy ID: 29746

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Binbrook

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Binbrook St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln

Details

The monument includes the buried remains of a Neolithic long barrow 350m south
west of Sycamore Farm, on a north-facing slope at the head of a dry valley and
south east of a tributary of the Waithe Beck.

Although the long barrow is no longer visible on the ground, it can be seen
from the air and has been recorded on aerial photographs as a cropmark since
1989. The cropmark (an area of enhanced crop growth resulting from the
retention of higher moisture levels in the underlying archaeological features)
represents the infilled and buried ditch surrounding the area set aside for
funerary and ritual activities.

The long barrow ditch is roughly trapezoid in shape, measuring approximately
50m long by 20m wide overall and oriented ESE to WNW, following the contour of
the hillslope. The broad, eastern terminal is straight and that to the west
is more rounded. No causeway across the ditch is apparent and this is thought
to indicate that the long barrow is an example of the simpler form which was
not elaborated by the construction of a large earthwork mound.

The internal area contains a circular feature about 8m in diameter, situated
towards the south eastern end. This location suggests that the feature
probably represents the main burial site and focus of ritual. Investigations
at similar sites elsewhere in the region indicate that other features,
including pits and postholes, are likely to be preserved beneath the present
ground surface.

The long barrow is considered to belong to a group of similar monuments, both
simple and elaborated, which are focussed on the Waithe Beck and its
tributaries.

MAP EXTRACT
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
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.

Although the long barrow 350m south west of Sycamore Farm is no longer visible
on the ground, its buried and infilled ditch and internal ritual area will
retain rare and valuable archaeological deposits including human remains.
These will provide evidence relating to the barrow's date of construction,
period of use and the religious practices of its builders. Environmental
evidence preserved in the same contexts may illustrate the nature of the
landscape in which the monument was set.

The long barrow is one of a large group of similar monuments focussed on the
Waithe Beck and its tributaries. Comparisons between these barrows may have
considerable implications for the study of communications, settlement and
demography during the Neolithic period.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Other
oblique monochrome print, NMR 4415 TF2192/2, (1989)
oblique monochrome prints, NMR 12261 TF2192/10-14, (1992)

Source: Historic England

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