Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Butt Mound bowl barrow, Butt Lees

A Scheduled Monument in Silk Willoughby, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 52.9739 / 52°58'25"N

Longitude: -0.4308 / 0°25'50"W

OS Eastings: 505469.8666

OS Northings: 342987.589632

OS Grid: TF054429

Mapcode National: GBR FQY.KXC

Mapcode Global: WHGKD.CJ30

Entry Name: Butt Mound bowl barrow, Butt Lees

Scheduled Date: 19 March 1973

Last Amended: 4 February 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018899

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22751

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Silk Willoughby

Built-Up Area: Silk Willoughby

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Silk Willoughby St Denys

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes a bowl barrow situated in Butt Lees approximately 250m
west of St Denys' Church. The mound, which survives to a height of nearly 1m,
was formerly circular but has been curtailed slightly on the north side and
now measures approximately 12m by 9.5m. The encircling ditch, from which
material used in the construction of the mound would have been quarried, is no
longer visible above ground but is thought to survive as a buried feature.

Butt Mound is one of a group of four mounds which was recorded in Butt Lees in
the early 20th century. The only other mound still evident, Folk Moot, is the
suject of a separate scheduling. The group appears to represent the remains of
a Bronze Age barrow cemetery which, in the early medieval period, served to
mark the boundary between the villages of Silkby and Willoughby. The surviving
mounds are thought to have been reused as archery butts in the medieval and
post-medieval periods.

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

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

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 historic 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

Butt Mound bowl barrow survives well as a substantial earthwork feature with
associated buried deposits, and represents a good example of the monument type
in an area where the above ground survival of prehistoric features is rare. As
part of a former barrow cemetery, of which only one other mound is now
evident, its significance as a boundary marker in the early medieval period
attests to its continued importance as a feature of the landscape. Its reuse
as an archery butt in the medieval and post-medieval periods would have
involved little disturbance, and the monument will thus include intact
archaeological deposits with the potential for the recovery of valuable
artefactual and ecological evidence for over 4000 years of human activity.

Source: Historic England

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