Four bowl barrows 310m south east of Barlings Abbey: part of Barlings-Stainfield barrow cemetery.


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1009996

Date first listed: 22-Dec-1994


Ordnance survey map of Four bowl barrows 310m south east of Barlings Abbey: part of Barlings-Stainfield barrow cemetery.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Lincolnshire

District: West Lindsey (District Authority)

Parish: Barlings

National Grid Reference: TF 09394 73244


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

Reasons for Designation

Round barrow cemeteries date to the Bronze Age (c.2000-700 BC). They comprise closely-spaced groups of up to 30 round barrows - rubble or earthen mounds covering single or multiple burials. Most cemeteries developed over a considerable period of time, often many centuries, and in some cases acted as a focus for burials as late as the early medieval period. They exhibit considerable diversity of burial rite, plan and form, frequently including several different types of round barrow, occasionally associated with earlier long barrows. Where large scale investigation has been undertaken around them, contemporary or later "flat" burials between the barrow mounds have often been revealed. Round barrow cemeteries occur across most of lowland Britain, with a marked concentration in Wessex. In some cases, they are clustered around other important contemporary monuments such as henges. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape, whilst their diversity and their longevity as a monument type provide important information on the variety of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving or partly-surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

The group of four barrows 310m south east of Barlings Abbey form part of a cemetery which includes at least 15 barrows of various different types. The four barrows survive well as upstanding earthworks, and the areas of disturbance, indicated by the hollows on top of two of the mounds, are small in relation to the whole. The barrows will retain important archaeological information concerning their construction and the manner and duration of their use, and soils buried beneath the barrow mounds will contain evidence for the local environment, both at the time of and prior to their construction. The preservation, also, beneath substantial later deposits, of a broadly contemporary ground surface between the barrows ensures the survival of evidence important for the study of the development and use of the cemetery as a whole. The cemetery is one of four which have been recorded on the edge of the Witham Fens.


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


The monument includes four bowl barrows which form a cluster on the western side of the Barlings-Stainfield barrow cemetery, located on a sand and gravel spur at the north eastern edge of the Witham peat fens. The barrows are visible under pasture as roughly circular earthen mounds, three of them grouped closely together at a distance of c.55m to the west of the fourth. Together, the barrows occupy an area with maximum dimensions of c.130m east-west by 70m north-south. The largest mound, which is the most northerly of the western group, stands to a height of c.0.65m above the modern ground surface and covers an area c.26m in diameter. An irregular hollow in the top of it, measuring c.0.3m deep and up to 10m in length, marks the site of an old investigation. The second and third mounds, which overlap one another, lie respectively c.8m south west and c.15m south west of the first, covering areas c.21m and c.24m in diameter and both standing to a height of c.0.5m. A hollow measuring c.8m by 5m in the top of the third and most southerly mound indicates that this also has undergone a limited exploration. The fourth mound, which lies due east of the first described, is c.0.8m in height, with an asymmetrical profile, slightly flattened on the south side, and covers an area c.22m in diameter. It is probable that all four mounds are encircled by ditches which survive as buried features, although no trace of these is visible on the surface. Borehole samples have shown that the ground surface on a level with the base of the barrow mounds, together with the lower part of the mounds themselves, has been covered by later alluvial deposits and peat and lies at a depth of between 0.5m and 0.7m below the present ground surface. A further eleven barrows, which formed part of the same original cemetery, are the subject of a separate scheduling centred 300m to the east.

MAP EXTRACT 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.


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

Legacy System number: 20809

Legacy System: RSM


Dossier for H B M C, Fenland Evaluation Project: Lincolnshire, (1990)
Dossier for H B M C, Fenland Evaluation Project: Lincolnshire, (1990)

End of official listing