Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Folk Moot bowl barrow, Butt Lees

A Scheduled Monument in Silk Willoughby, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 52.9739 / 52°58'25"N

Longitude: -0.4321 / 0°25'55"W

OS Eastings: 505381.339887

OS Northings: 342983.980624

OS Grid: TF053429

Mapcode National: GBR FQY.KKD

Mapcode Global: WHGKD.BJG0

Entry Name: Folk Moot bowl barrow, Butt Lees

Scheduled Date: 19 March 1973

Last Amended: 4 February 1999

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1018900

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22752

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 330m
west of St Denys' Church. The mound, which survives to a height of over 2m,
was formerly circular but has been curtailed slightly on the north side and
now measures approximately 19m by 16m. The encircling ditch, from which
material used in the construction of the mound was quarried, has been largely
infilled and is now visible as a shallow depression up to 8m wide on the north
and north east sides of the mound; elsewhere it will survive as a buried
feature. Limited archaeological excavation of the mound in 1933 revealed
pottery fragments thought to be Middle Bronze Age in date, and burnt stones in
the upper part of the mound indicating that it was later reused as a base for

The Folk Moot 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, Butt Mound, is
the subject 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 Folk Moot may also have been reused as
a beacon or as a meeting place for village festivities.

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

Folk Moot 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 feature of the landscape. Its later
reuse as an archery butt, meeting place and possible beacon have involved
little disturbance to earlier remains while enhancing their historical
interest, 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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