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Lindholme Neolithic timber trackway and platform

A Scheduled Monument in Hatfield, Doncaster

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.5567 / 53°33'23"N

Longitude: -0.9355 / 0°56'7"W

OS Eastings: 470613.584438

OS Northings: 407197.706794

OS Grid: SE706071

Mapcode National: GBR PWX9.8R

Mapcode Global: WHFF3.LVQR

Entry Name: Lindholme Neolithic timber trackway and platform

Scheduled Date: 14 July 2017

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1443481

County: Doncaster

Civil Parish: Hatfield

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): South Yorkshire

Church of England Parish: Hatfield St Lawrence

Church of England Diocese: Sheffield

Summary

Late Neolithic timber trackway and platform surviving as buried, waterlogged remains. Although very different in form, the monument shares some design features with Neolithic henges and appears to be a ritual rather than a utilitarian structure.

Source: Historic England

Details

PRINCIPAL ELEMENTS: late Neolithic timber trackway and platform with associated deposits surviving as buried remains.

DESCRIPTION: the monument lies within the raised wetland mire of Hatfield Moor and includes the raised earthwork bund constructed in 2006 designed to keep the site waterlogged.

The trackway is about 45m long, appearing to be entirely constructed of Scots Pine, the track surface being formed with closely spaced pieces of roundwood laid perpendicular to the direction of travel, supported by pairs of rails orientated with the trackway. The rails ranged between119/128mm and 26/38mm in diameter, the timbers of the track surface being generally thicker (34/39mm and 70/75mm in diameter) with thicknesses generally reducing northwards along the trackway, the trackway consistently narrowing from about 3.1m wide at the southern end to about 1m before reaching the platform. In some places the rails are held in place by roughly shaped pegs, also of Scots Pine, displaying cut marks characteristic of stone tools. About a third of the way along the trackway, in place of one or two timbers, a band formed with birch bark was identified during the excavation, two further bands marking the threshold with the platform. Around two thirds of the way northwards, the trackway makes a slight but clear kink to the east to avoid a slight rise in the basal sands: an area that would have formed a slightly dryer island in the wetland at the time of the trackway’s construction.

The platform is of similar corduroy construction to the trackway, but includes brushwood and tree stumps in addition to roundwood rails in supporting the surface. The platform is set at an angle of about 45 degrees to the trackway. Truncated by peat extraction to about 10m by 5m, it is estimated to have measured at least 10m by 13m originally.

Following the archaeological investigations, the platform and trackway were reburied and surrounded by a plastic sheet-piled enclosure and an earthwork bund designed to preserve the structure via waterlogging.

EXTENT OF SCHEDULING: this is focused on the in situ remains of the trackway and platform within the bunded enclosure, together with an additional 50m margin to include the area of higher basal sands to the east that would have formed dry ground in the Neolithic, an area considered to have a potential for further archaeological deposits associated with the site. This additional margin is also provided for the support and protection of the trackway and platform within the bunded enclosure.

There are no exclusions. Although the sheet piling, earthwork bund and associated pipework were all installed after the archaeological investigations in 2004, these features are designed to preserve the monument and are thus included in the scheduling.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Lindholme Neolithic timber trackway and platform, together with a surrounding area as mapped for the support and protection of the monument, is scheduled for the following principal reasons:
* Period, rarity, survival: as a very early, well preserved, and exceptionally rare survival of a Neolithic structure built from timber;
* Documentation, potential: archaeological research has revealed complex features of its design, including forced perspective, the monument having the potential to provide new insights into Neolithic life and ritual;
* Fragility: the long term survival of the monument is dependent on continuous waterlogging of the timber.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Chapman, HP, Gearey, BR, Modelling Archaeology and Palaeoenvironments in Wetlands, (2013), 119-138

Source: Historic England

Other nearby scheduled monuments

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