Medieval boundary earthworks at Queen's Bank, 100m south east of Providence House


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009980

Date first listed: 15-Dec-1994


Ordnance survey map of Medieval boundary earthworks at Queen's Bank, 100m south east of Providence House
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Lincolnshire

District: South Holland (District Authority)

Parish: Crowland

County: Lincolnshire

District: South Holland (District Authority)

Parish: Moulton

National Grid Reference: TF 29926 14147


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Medieval earthworks comprising single or multiple banks and ditches were often constructed to enclose woods and parks, or to mark boundaries not otherwise defined by local topographical features. In the Fens, such earthworks were sometimes constructed to enclose reclaimed land, and also to divide areas of fen used for different purposes, such as grazing and fisheries, in addition to the major works of the sea and fen banks which protected the pasture and arable land from flooding. Large parts of the fens were in ecclesiastical and monastic ownership and the boundaries of these holdings, and the associated rights of common and fisheries, were matters of importance and, often, of dispute. Few medieval boundary earthworks survive in the Fens. Those which do survive as upstanding features and which have well documented associations with particular settlements or land holders, such as monasteries, preserve valuable information relating to the history of land use in the region and are therefore considered to merit protection.

The banks and ditches at Queen's Bank, which constitute the most intact remaining section of an extensive and well documented monastic boundary, survive well and are a rare example in the region of a medieval multiple linear earthwork. Archaeological information concerning the construction of the earthworks, activities in the area immediately around the earthworks, and also the local environment during the medieval period, will be contained in and beneath the material of the banks and in the infill of the ditches. Evidence for land use predating the construction of the earthworks will also be preserved in the soils buried beneath the banks. The relationship of the earthworks to Crowland Abbey, and their association with historically documented land holdings, gives them a particular interest.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


The monument includes medieval earthwork banks and ditches which are the remains of part of the northern boundary of the monastic lands of Crowland Abbey, located on the boundary between the parishes of Crowland to the south and Moulton to the north. The abbey itself lies nearly 7km to the south west but, from the foundation of the original monastery in the eighth century, the monastic lands were considered to comprise the whole of Crowland Island, and eventually they extended to adjacent lands taken in from the surrounding fen.

The earthworks at this point comprised originally three parallel east-west banks, set approximately 30m - 35m apart and flanked by ditches. The middle bank survives under pasture for a distance of approximately 395m, standing to a height of approximately 0.9m above the prevailing ground surface and 1.4m above the older, buried ground surface on which it is constructed. The ditches along either side of the bank have become largely infilled, but are visible as linear hollows approximately 7m wide and 0.4m deep in the ground surface. The southern of the three banks lies under the bridleway on Queen's Bank, and the ditch to the north of it is occupied by a modern dyke. The northern bank has been levelled, but the line of it to the east is recorded on older OS maps, and the ditches associated with it will survive as buried features.

The earthworks extended originally for a distance of at least 5.5km, from Brotherhouse Bar eastwards to Aswick Grange, and delimited lands belonging to Crowland Abbey in Great Postland Fen, which were a valuable resource providing grazing, fodder, fishing, reed beds and peat for fuel. This land was disputed by the neighbouring men of Holland, to the north, and an incursion by them in 1189 led to a lengthy lawsuit, finally resolved in 1202, by a charter of King John which confirmed the abbey's rights.

All field boundary fences and gates are excluded from the scheduling, as are a water trough and supply pipe at the western end of the site, modern drainage dykes, and also the surface of the bridleway, although the ground beneath these features is included.

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


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 20817

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Hayes, P P, Lane, T M, 'East Anglian Archaeology' in The Fenland Project 5: Lincolnshire Survey, The South West Fens, , Vol. 55, (1992), 202
Stocker, D, 'Pre-Viking Lindsey' in The Early Church in Lincolnshire, (1993), 101-106
Dossier for H B M C, Fenland Evaluation Project: Lincolnshire, (1990)
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:10560 Source Date: Author: Publisher: Surveyor:

End of official listing