Ancient Monuments

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Roman barrow 620m north of Riseholme Hall

A Scheduled Monument in Riseholme, Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.2741 / 53°16'26"N

Longitude: -0.5293 / 0°31'45"W

OS Eastings: 498170.800018

OS Northings: 376243.585494

OS Grid: SK981762

Mapcode National: GBR SZRL.61

Mapcode Global: WHGHS.VY4W

Entry Name: Roman barrow 620m north of Riseholme Hall

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 6 October 2000

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1019053

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22767

County: Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: Riseholme

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: Riseholme St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


The monument includes a Roman barrow situated 620m north of Riseholme Hall and
approximately 700m east of the Roman road, Ermine Street. Lying near the top
of the eastern slope of a shallow north-south valley, it holds a prominent
position in the landscape with visibility in all directions, particularly
towards Ermine Street.
The barrow takes the form of a steep-sided mound with a flat top approximately
2.75m in height. Now slightly oval in plan, measuring 17.5m north-south and
19.5m east-west, it was originally circular, about 18m in diameter. Partial
excavation of the mound in 1952 demonstrated that it was constructed in the
late first century AD on the site of a cremation: evidence for burning,
fragments of human bone and vessels of pottery and glass were found in a
shallow trench in the old ground surface. A secondary burial of the same
period, consisting of a human cremation in a pottery vessel covered by a stone
slab, was found near the surface of the mound in 1935. There is no
evidence for a ditch around the mound. Finds of third and fourth century
pottery nearby indicate that the area remained occupied throughout the Roman

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Earthen barrows are the most visually spectacular survivals of a wide variety
of funerary monuments in Britain dating to the Roman period. Constructed as
steep-sided conical mounds, usually of considerable size and occasionally with
an encircling bank or ditch, they covered one or more burials, generally
believed to be those of high-ranking individuals. The burials were mainly
cremations, although inhumations have been recorded, and were often deposited
with accompanying grave goods in chambers or cists constructed of wood, tile
or stone sealed beneath the barrow mound. Occasionally the mound appears to
have been built directly over a funeral pyre. The barrows usually occur
singly, although they can be grouped into "cemeteries" of up to ten examples.
They are sited in a variety of locations but often occur near Roman roads. A
small number of barrows were of particularly elaborate construction, with
masonry revetment walls or radial internal walls. Roman barrows are rare
nationally, with less than 150 recorded examples, and are generally restricted
to lowland England with the majority in East Anglia. The earliest examples
date to the first decades of the Roman occupation and occur mainly within this
East Anglian concentration. It has been suggested that they are the graves of
native British aristocrats who chose to perpetuate aspects of Iron Age burial
practice. The majority of the barrows were constructed in the early second
century AD but by the end of that century the fashion for barrow building
appears to have ended. Occasionally the barrows were re-used when secondary
Anglo-Saxon burials were dug into the mound. Many barrows were subjected to
cursory investigation by antiquarians in the 19th century and, as little
investigation to modern standards has taken place, they remain generally
poorly understood. As a rare monument type which exhibits a wide diversity of
burial tradition all Roman barrows, unless significantly damaged, are
identified as nationally important.

The Roman barrow 620m north of Riseholme Hall survives well as a standing
earthwork. As one of the most northerly burial mounds of the period,
containing primary and secondary burials close in date, it is an unusual
example of the monument class which will provide us with rare information
about the development of burial traditions and society in the early part of
the Roman period. While the mound itself preserves valuable evidence about its
construction, as well as burial and artefactual remains, the old ground
surface sealed beneath it also will retain environmental evidence for the
nature of the landscape in which the monument was built.

Source: Historic England

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