Neolithic long barrow 940m NNW of Mount Pleasant


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013889

Date first listed: 12-Jan-1996


Ordnance survey map of Neolithic long barrow 940m NNW of Mount Pleasant
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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: Nettleton

National Grid Reference: TF 13001 98000


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.

The Neolithic long barrow 940m NNW of Mount Pleasant is an important example of this class of monument, observed as a cropmark site and confirmed by geophysical survey and part excavation. A substantial portion of the ditch survives, together with internal features cut into the original ground surface. The limited excavation served to establish, beyond doubt, the prehistoric nature of the site as well as providing valuable evidence relating to the construction of the mound and the ditch, and the timespan during which the monument was built. This archaeological work left the southern portion of the monument undisturbed, including the area which would have seen the greatest activity. Much rare and valuable archaeological information will be retained in the ditch fills and within the area of the mound, and organic material preserved in these contexts will provide further evidence illustrating the nature of the landscape in which the monument was constructed and used. A further ditch thought to be broadly contemporary with the barrow survives beneath the present ground surface and archaeological deposits contained within its fills together with its stratigraphic relationship to the monument will provide information concerning prehistoric land use patterns around the barrow.


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


The monument includes the buried remains of a Neolithic long barrow located 150m above sea level overlooking the valley of the Nettleton Beck, c.900m WNW of Rothwell Top Farm and c.200m west of High Street. The existence of the monument was first noted as a result of aerial reconnaissance in 1977 when it appeared in photographs as a cropmark site showing evidence for an infilled sub-rectangular ditch with convex ends enclosing an area approximately 30m by 15m, aligned NNW-SSE. The site was subsequently the subject of a magnetometer survey which confirmed the findings of the aerial photography. In 1993 the site was investigated by archaeologists in advance of the construction of the Skitter to Hatton gas pipeline. Limited excavation confirmed that the site was a Neolithic long barrow enclosed by a quarry ditch between c.4m and 7m wide from which a large quantity of prehistoric and Romano-British pottery was recovered. The ditch had been recut twice, indicating that the monument continued to be a focus of attention and activity long after its initial construction, as also demonstrated by the wide date range of pottery fragments. Large pieces of flint and chalk blocks found in the original ditch cut and in the first recut give evidence for the method of construction. A further ditch 0.33m deep by 1.1m wide was located beyond the quarry ditch to the north east. This was thought to represent an independent structure predating the final recut. A substantial feature containing evidence of burning was recorded at the centre of the monument but was not excavated. No material suitable for radiocarbon dating was recovered, but the form of the monument together with the relative dating provided by the pottery indicate that the barrow was constructed in the later Neolithic period. Environmental samples taken at the time of the excavation suggested that the monument was constructed in an area of open grassland which subsequently became colonised by scrub vegetation. The site is now preserved under redeposited soil and, while there has been limited disturbance as a result of the archaeological investigations, the southern portion of the barrow in which funerary activity would have been concentrated, is untouched.

The monument is one of a number of Neolithic and Bronze Age funerary sites associated with the prehistoric trackway now formalised as High Street.

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: 27862

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Bonnor, L D, Griffiths, D W, Skitter to Hatton 4050mm diameter pipeline, 1993, (1993), 39
Bonnor, L D, Griffiths, D W, Skitter to Hatton 4050mm diameter pipeline, 1993, (1993), 40
Bonnor, L D, Griffiths, D W, Skitter to Hatton 4050mm diameter pipeline, 1993, (1993), 31
Bonnor, L D, Griffiths, D W, Skitter to Hatton 4050mm diameter pipeline, 1993, (1993), 36,40
Bonnor, L D, Griffiths, D W, Skitter to Hatton 4050mm diameter pipeline, 1993, (1993), 33
Bonnor, L D, Griffiths, D W, Skitter to Hatton 4050mm diameter pipeline, 1993, (1993), 39-41
Bonnor, L D, Griffiths, D W, Skitter to Hatton 4050mm diameter pipeline, 1993, (1993), 35
oblique monochrome photograph, Everson, P, 2997/26-28, (1977)

End of official listing