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Bronze Age bowl barrow, Anglo-Saxon settlement and medieval manorial settlement

A Scheduled Monument in West Halton, North Lincolnshire

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Latitude: 53.677 / 53°40'37"N

Longitude: -0.6316 / 0°37'53"W

OS Eastings: 490486.837951

OS Northings: 420923.25497

OS Grid: SE904209

Mapcode National: GBR ST1X.1N

Mapcode Global: WHGFT.8VH1

Entry Name: Bronze Age bowl barrow, Anglo-Saxon settlement and medieval manorial settlement

Scheduled Date: 15 July 2016

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1435726

County: North Lincolnshire

Civil Parish: West Halton

Traditional County: Lincolnshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lincolnshire

Church of England Parish: West Halton St Etheldreda

Church of England Diocese: Lincoln


A multi-period site that includes a Bronze Age bowl barrow, an Anglo-Saxon settlement, and a medieval manorial settlement.

Source: Historic England


A multi-period site that includes a Bronze Age bowl barrow, an Anglo-Saxon settlement, and a medieval manorial settlement.

The Bronze Age bowl barrow survives as an earthwork mound and buried remains about 45m SSW of West Halton Village Hall. The mound is c20m in diameter and c3m high. A quarry ditch from which material was derived to construct the mound surrounds it. The ditch has a U-shaped profile with a flat base and is c2m wide and c1m deep. A medieval trackway, c2m wide and c0.3m deep, survives as buried remains crossing the barrow, probably joining with a further trackway recorded to the north. Partial excavation of a trench across part of the barrow in 2007 recovered prehistoric worked flint and animal bone from the mound. It also recovered human remains radio-carbon dated to the 7th century, which are likely to have come from a secondary Anglo-Saxon burial within the barrow. The lower fill of the ditch contained deposits of prehistoric pottery, flints and a fragment of a prehistoric shale pendant, whilst the upper fill contained Anglo-Saxon and medieval pottery, iron nails, ceramic building material and animal bone. This indicated that the ditch had undergone some gradual silting before it was eventually filled during the medieval period.

An early Anglo-Saxon (c410-660) ditched enclosure, forming a c30m by c30m square, survives as buried remains immediately to the N of the bowl barrow. It has been recorded through geophysical survey and the partial excavation of the SE quadrant of the enclosure in 2009. The enclosure is delimited by a ditch c1.8m wide at the top and c1m deep, narrowing to about 0.3m at the bottom where there is a flat base. At the SE corner of the enclosure the E ditch extends c3.6m beyond the S ditch to form an external tapering terminal. Partial excavation recorded a small amount of late Roman and early Anglo-Saxon pottery in the enclosure ditch fill as well as re-deposited bedrock, which possibly served as a packing for upright posts that may have been placed within the ditch. The area within the SE quadrant of the enclosure contained Anglo-Saxon settlement remains including at least two hall-type buildings, a grubenhäus (sunken-featured building), a shallow ditch, two gullies, several pits and over 300 post or stake holes generally ranging in depth and diameter from 0.1m to 0.3m. The grubenhäus comprised a pit c3.6m by c4.5m, a gravel ‘platform’ and postholes. Further buried remains of the Anglo-Saxon enclosure and associated settlement will extend to the N, E and W.

A middle Anglo-Saxon (c660–899) ditched enclosure and further settlement remains survive beneath the village green to the S and E of the bowl barrow. Partial excavation has identified numerous postholes forming at least two more buildings, including a post- or plank-in-trench building that may have been a hall, as well as pits, ditches, gullies, and stake-holes associated with fencelines. It also revealed two rock-cut ditches, which are considered to have formed part of a curvilinear enclosure, possibly D-shaped in plan. The enclosure is approximately 50m wide E to W and in excess of 50m wide N to S. A c50m length of the ditch was recorded at the NE of the enclosure. It is c0.8m deep and c2.5m wide. The fill of the ditch contained bedrock, which may have been from an internal rubble bank subsequently pushed into the ditch, as well as Anglo-Saxon pottery, fragments of bone comb, slag, iron and animal bone. The SW side of the enclosure was recorded for a length of nearly 10m. It is c1m wide and c0.7m deep with a V-shaped profile. The excavations indicated that this area of the site was occupied in the early Anglo-Saxon period before the construction of the ditch in the middle Anglo-Saxon period. The enclosure may have subsequently been recut in the mid-9th to 10th centuries.

A medieval manorial complex formed of several stone buildings is situated between the bowl barrow mound and children’s playground to the SE, partly overlying the Anglo-Saxon settlement. A medieval house overlies the SE edge of the barrow mound (within ‘Trench 5’ of the 2005-2007 excavations). It is constructed of dry stone and clay-bonded walls c0.7m-1m with two main ranges, orientated N-S and linked by a stone staircase. The western range is approximately 7.5m long by 3.5m wide and may have served as a roofed or open corridor with a rough metalled stone floor. Attached to the SE corner of the range is the staircase, which is approximately 3.5m square. It provides access to the eastern range, which has a cellar and ground floor. This range is approximately 7m wide and over 11m long with a central dividing wall c1m thick separating a series of rooms. There are two closed-shaft garderobes at the N, servicing the ground floor, with three arched drains or soakways exiting through the N wall. At the W of this range is a cellar lit by two lancet windows either side of the staircase; part of an ashlar jamb of one of these lancets survives in situ but the other has been robbed leaving only an opening. The cellar is serviced by two garderobes set into its E and W walls, which have slots cut into the stone for wooden seats, and c1m deep drops which lead to arched drains or soakways. Another room is situated to the E, opposite the cellar, and there are further rooms to the S, which have not been excavated. An external revetment wall is built against the W wall of the building and attached to the SW are the walls of another, later, range. Archaeological evidence indicates that the upper part of the building was demolished and levelled during the C15.

A medieval building is situated at the S of the site (within ‘Trench 1’ of the 2003 and 2007-8 excavations). It is orientated N-S and constructed of drystone walls surviving to nearly 1m high. Archaeological evidence indicates that the building was constructed after the early C13 and largely demolished by the early C16. Attached to the W side of the building is a small extension, 2.2m long by 1.6m wide, with a rubble floor. An iron sickle and pig skeleton found within this room indicated that it may have had an agricultural function. About 10m to the N are the drystone walls of a small building partially excavated in 2003 (within ‘Trench 2’), which may have been an outbuilding or shed.

At the SE of the site, near the children’s playground on the village green, are the buried remains of a medieval lime kiln. It is sub-circular in plan, 1.5m deep and 4.3m in diameter at the top and 2.7m wide at the base. The lime kiln may have been used in the construction or maintenance of the buildings associated with the manorial complex. Partial excavation in this area in 2007-8 uncovered several dry-stone walls forming a medieval building or buildings near to the lime kiln (within ‘Trench 6’). A further building was uncovered a few metres to the N in 2007 (within ‘Trench 9’) and is constructed of dry-stone walls up to about 1m thick. A cobbled doorway 1.4m wide is set into a wall of the main range, whilst to the N is a later extension. The walls and floor surfaces showed signs of burning, indicating that it was damaged by fire. A short distance to the W there are the remains of a staircase excavated in 2007 (within ‘Trench 10’), which is likely to represent another building that formed part of the manorial complex.

The scheduling forms a broadly rectangular area, which includes the Bronze Age bowl barrow, Anglo-Saxon settlement and medieval manorial settlement recorded from geophysical survey and partial excavation. It extends across part of a football pitch on the village green at the NE, since this area is considered to hold archaeological potential for further buried remains relating to the Anglo-Saxon settlement. The ground beneath the children’s playground at the SE is excluded because the construction of the playground is likely to have destroyed the archaeological remains in this area.

The monument excludes all modern concrete paths, telegraph poles, benches, goal posts, litter bins, signs and sign posts, fences and fence posts, gates and gate posts. However, the ground beneath these features is included.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

The Bronze Age bowl barrow, Anglo-Saxon settlement and medieval manorial settlement at West Halton are scheduled for the following principal reasons:
* Rarity: Anglo-Saxon rural settlements are rare nationally and relatively few sites with known archaeological potential have been identified;
* Survival: the bowl barrow mound survives to c3m high whilst the settlement remains have been relatively undisturbed since the late medieval abandonment of the site and are therefore particularly well preserved with buried archaeological deposits surviving to over 1.5m deep;
* Architectural interest: the medieval manorial buildings retain their original plan forms and architectural features such as walls, floors, staircases, garderobes with slots for wooden seats, arched drains and a window lintel;
* Archaeological potential: a large proportion of the site has not been excavated and disturbed and therefore retains considerable potential for further structural features, artefacts and ecofactual deposits;
* Diversity: the Anglo-Saxon settlement contains a high diversity of features including two ditched enclosures, stake holes, ditches, pits, gullies and post holes associated with a range of building types, including halls and a grubenhäus (sunken-featured building);
* Period: the Anglo-Saxon settlement survives from a period about which comparatively little is known and will provide valuable information about the evolution and continuity of settlement forms;
* Representativity: the multi-period remains are representative of their respective periods and show activity and occupation of the site over a considerable period of time;
* Documentation: the site is well documented in archaeological terms having undergone geophysical survey, field walking and partial excavation;
* Group value: the Bronze Age bowl barrow, Anglo-Saxon settlement and medieval manorial settlement hold group value.

Source: Historic England


Crewe, V, Hadley, D, and Wilmott, H, Fieldwork at West Halton, North Lincolnshire: University of Sheffield Interim Report for 2007-2009 (2011) (Report held in North Lincolnshire HER)
Grenville, J and Parker Pearson, M, Excavations at West Halton, Lincolnshire: An Interim Report (1983) (Report held in North Lincolnshire HER)
Hadley, D, ‘Stranger in a Strange land? The Anglo-Saxon settlement at West Halton in its Bronze-Age setting’, a paper delivered at the Royal Archaeological Institute on 11th April 2012
Hadley, D, Willmott, H, and Chamberlain, A, Fieldwork in West Halton, Lincolnshire 2003: University of Sheffield Interim Report (2003) (Report held in North Lincolnshire HER)
Hadley, D, Willmott, H, and Chamberlain, A, Fieldwork in West Halton, Lincolnshire 2004: University of Sheffield Interim Report (2004) (Report held in North Lincolnshire HER)
Hadley, D, Willmott, H, and Chamberlain, A, Fieldwork in West Halton, Lincolnshire 2005: University of Sheffield Interim Report (2005) (Report held in North Lincolnshire HER)
Hadley, D, Willmott, H, and Chamberlain, A, Fieldwork in West Halton, Lincolnshire 2006: University of Sheffield Interim Report (2006) (Report held in North Lincolnshire HER)
Perry, G, An Analysis of the Pottery from Ditch Systems at the Multi-Period Site of West Halton, North Lincolnshire, University of Sheffield Material Culture Studies MA Dissertation

Source: Historic England

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