Neolithic long barrow 300m east of Fordington House Farm
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1013902
Date first listed: 10-Feb-1996
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: East Lindsey (District Authority)
Parish: Ulceby with Fordington
National Grid Reference: TF 42356 71644
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
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 long barrow east of Fordington House Farm is a good example of this class of monument - well documented by aerial photography and geophysical survey and confirmed by limited excavation. Although degraded by ploughing, rare and valuable archaeological information will be retained on and within the buried ground surface, and in the fills of the surrounding ditch, relating to the construction of the monument and to the sequence of mortuary ritual at the site. Environmental evidence preserved in the same contexts will illustrate the nature of the landscape in which the monument was set. The dimensions of the long barrow are worthy of note since it represents the largest of the class yet identified in Lincolnshire. The monument is one of a number of Neolithic long barrows associated with the valley of a tributary of the River Lymn and with the prehistoric trackway now formalised as the Bluestone Heath Road. This chosen location poses wider questions concerning both the ritual significance of the area and the patterns of Neolithic settlement in the landscape.
The monument includes the buried remains of a Neolithic long barrow located
c.90m above sea level on the eastern side of the valley of a tributary of the
River Lymn. It was first identified in 1976 and was recorded on aerial
photographs. A geophysical survey in 1989 further demonstrated its form and
extent. Although the barrow mound has been degraded by ploughing, the
encircling ditch is preserved beneath the present ground surface. It is
aligned east-west and encloses an area some 125m long by 30m wide. A section
of the monument, towards the western end, has been disturbed by chalk
quarrying and this provided an opportunity for limited archaeological
evaluation in 1989. Sampling for radiocarbon dating confirmed that the
monument was constructed in the Neolithic period.
The monument forms part of a dispersed group of Neolithic long barrows
associated with the Bluestone Heath Road and known as the Skendleby group. The
road itself is thought to have originated as a prehistoric trackway and is, at
this point, overlain by the course of a Roman road.
MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 5 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: 27867
Legacy System: RSM
discussion - district archaeologist, Field, F N, (1995)
discussions, Jones, D, (1995)
oblique monochrome photograph, Everson, P, (1986)
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing