Ash Hill long barrow in Swinhope Park


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013886

Date first listed: 30-Aug-1934

Date of most recent amendment: 02-Jan-1996


Ordnance survey map of Ash Hill long barrow in Swinhope Park
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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: Swinhope

National Grid Reference: TF 20893 96122


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

Reasons for Designation

Long barrows were constructed as earthen or drystone mounds, generally with flanking ditches. They acted as funerary monuments during the Early and Middle Neolithic periods (3400-2400 BC), representing the burial places of Britain's early farming communities, and as such are amongst the oldest field monuments surviving in the present landscape. Where investigated, long barrows appear to have been used for communal burial, often with only parts of the human remains having been selected for interment. Certain sites provide evidence for several phases of funerary activities preceding the construction of the barrow mound, including ditched enclosures containing structures related to various rituals of burial. It is probable, therefore, that long barrows acted as important spiritual sites for their local communities over considerable periods of time. The long barrows of the Lincolnshire Wolds and their adjacent regions have been identified as a distinct regional grouping of monuments in which the flanking ditches are continued around the ends of the barrow mound, either continuously or broken by a single causeway towards one end. More than 60 examples of this type of monument are known; a small number of these survive as earthworks, but the great majority of sites are known as cropmarks and soilmarks recorded on aerial photographs where no mound is evident at the surface. Not all Lincolnshire long barrows include mounds. Current limited understanding of the processes of Neolithic mortuary ritual in Lincolnshire is that the large barrow mound represents the final phase of construction which was not reached by all mortuary monuments. Many of the sites where only the ditched enclosure is known have been interpreted as representing monuments which had fully evolved mounds, but in which the mound itself has been degraded or removed by subsequent agricultural activity. In a minority of cases, however, the ditched enclosure will represent a monument which never developed a burial mound. As a distinctive regional grouping of one of the few types of Neolithic monuments known, these sites are of great value. They were all in use over a great period of time and are thus highly representive of changing cultures of the peoples who built and maintained them. All forms of long barrow on the Lincolnshire Wolds and its adjacent regions are therefore considered to be of national importance and all examples with significant surviving remains are considered worthy of protection.

Ash Hill long barrow survives as a substantial earthwork only minimally disturbed by archaeological investigations, which have served to provide valuable information regarding the construction and dating of the mound and the quarry ditch. The pit deposit discovered in the buried ground surface beyond the quarry ditch together with Roman pottery found in the upper fills of the ditch demonstrates that the monument continued to be a focus of attention and activity after its main phase of use, and the discovery and dating of the skeletons from the inserted burial at the north end provides evidence that the barrow retained significance as late as the period of Danish occupation. Rare archaeological evidence will survive within and below the mound and in the ditch relating to the chronological sequence of the burial practices and to the mound's construction. Organic material surviving under the mound and within the ditch will preserve valuable environmental information relating to the nature of the landscape in which the monument was set. The association of Ash Hill long barrow with other similar monuments in the vicinity is of particular significance, posing wider questions about the nature of Neolithic settlement in the area. These monuments, together with those at Thorganby and Ash Holt, Cuxwold, form a group associated with the valley of the Waithe Beck.


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


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of an Early Neolithic long barrow located 80m above sea level on the west side of the Swinhope valley, about 500m south west of Swinhope Hall. The barrow mound is aligned NNE-SSW and is roughly trapezoidal measuring approximately 42m long by 17m wide at the northern end, narrowing to 10m at the south. The mound is c.2.25m high at the north, sloping gently away to the south. In 1986 limited archaeological investigations were carried out which demonstrated the existence of a ditch c.1.5m deep, varying in width from c.1m - 4m from which material for the mound was quarried. Finds from the ditch included worked flint, Neolithic pottery and animal bone. A bone sample was radiocarbon dated to 3945 - 3690 BC, confirming the barrow's construction in the Early Neolithic period. An oval pit measuring c.52cm by 42cm, approximately 11cm deep was discovered c.3.5m west of the western edge of the quarry ditch. This pit was found to contain Neolithic and Beaker pottery sherds together with a quantity of worked flint. Roman pottery was also discovered in the upper fills of the quarry ditch. An intrusive burial of human remains had been made at the north western end of the mound. These remains were radiocarbon dated to the 10th or 11th century AD, indicating deposition during the Anglo-Scandinavian period. Ash Hill long barrow lies about 1km to the north west of two further long barrows on Hoe Hill which are the subjects of separate schedulings. The made surface of the adjacent estate road together with the remains of structures associated with Binbrooke air base are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath them is included.

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: 27854

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Phillips, P, 'BAR' in Archaeology and Landscape Studies in North Lincolnshire, , Vol. 208(i), (1989)

End of official listing