Tathwell long barrow, 350m NNW of the junction of Horncastle Road and New Lane


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013892

Date first listed: 20-Dec-1934

Date of most recent amendment: 12-Jan-1996


Ordnance survey map of Tathwell long barrow, 350m NNW of the junction of Horncastle Road and New Lane
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Lincolnshire

District: East Lindsey (District Authority)

Parish: Tathwell

National Grid Reference: TF 29458 82260


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.

Tathwell long barrow is a substantial and prominent earthwork which is clearly visible from the Louth-Horncastle road (A153). It is largely unaffected by ploughing and, since it is not thought to have been the subject of any archaeological investigation, rare and valuable archaeological deposits will be preserved beneath the mound and within the fills of the buried ditch illustrating the nature of funerary practices in the Neolithic period. These features will also retain environmental evidence relating to the nature of the landscape in which the monument was set.


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


The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of a Neolithic long barrow located 130m above sea level c.350m north of the A153 Louth-Horncastle road, close to its junction with New Lane leading into the village of Tathwell. It is situated beneath a low ridge overlooking a tributary of the River Lud. The barrow is clearly visible from the road, lying within a patch of scrubland surrounded by arable cultivation. The mound measures approximately 32m by 12m, standing to a height of c.1.7m and is aligned south east-north west. The surrounding ditch from which material for the construction of the mound was quarried is not evident but is expected to survive buried beneath the present ground surface. No archaeological investigation is known to have taken place and the monument is thought to be substantially undisturbed.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 12 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: 27876

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing