Neolithic long barrow 400m south-south-west of Stainton Hall

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013903

Date first listed: 10-Feb-1996

Date of most recent amendment: 02-Jan-2019

Location Description:

Statutory Address: Nr Stainton-le-Vale, Lincolnshire, LN8 6HP

Map

Ordnance survey map of Neolithic long barrow 400m south-south-west of Stainton Hall
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Location

Statutory Address: Nr Stainton-le-Vale, Lincolnshire, LN8 6HP

Location Description:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Lincolnshire

District: West Lindsey (District Authority)

Parish: Stainton Le Vale

National Grid Reference: TF1645094144

Summary

The buried remains of a Neolithic long barrow located on the crest of a north-east facing valley slope, around 400m south-south-west of Stainton Hall.

Reasons for Designation

The buried remains of the Neolithic long barrow located on the crest of a north-east facing valley slope, at the western end of a stream that becomes the Waithe Beck, around 400m south-south-west of Stainton Hall, is scheduled for the following principal reasons:

* Survival: as a clearly defined soil mark representing the burial practices, beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities;

* Potential: for the buried archaeological deposits which retain considerable potential to provide evidence relating to social organisation and demographics, cultural associations, human development, disease, diet, and death rituals. Buried environmental evidence can also inform us about the landscape in which the barrows were constructed;

* Period: as one of very few monument types dating to the early prehistoric period, it is highly representative of the period;

* Rarity: as an example of a monument type which is rare nationally and one of very few monument types to offer insight into the lives and deaths of early prehistoric communities in this country:

* Group value: the proximity of other similar scheduled monuments above the head of the Waithe Beck and associated with the prehistoric trackway now formalised as High Street, demonstrates the ritual significance of this area and has wider implications for the study of demography and settlement patterns during the Neolithic period.

History

Long barrows and chambered tombs are the main forms of Neolithic funerary monument, constructed from before 3800 BC with new monuments continuing to be built throughout the 4th millennium BC. Where they are precisely dated it appears their primary use for burial rarely lasted longer than about 100 years. Generally comprising long, linear earthen mounds or stone cairns, often flanked by ditches, they can appear as distinctive features in the landscape. They measure up to about 100m in length, 35m in width and 4m in height, and are sometimes trapezoidal or oval in plan. Earthen long barrows are found mostly in southern and eastern England and are usually unchambered, although some examples have been found to contain timber mortuary structures. Regional variation in construction is generally a reflection of locally available resources. Megalithic or stone chambered tombs are most common in Scotland and Wales, but are also found in those parts of England with ready access to the large stones and boulders from which they are constructed, especially the Cotswolds, the South-West and Kent. There are around 540 long barrows recorded nationally.

Long barrows of the Lincolnshire Wolds 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. A small number survive as earthworks but the majority are known from crop marks and soil marks where no or very low mounds are evident on the surface. Not all Lincolnshire long barrows had mounds and our current understanding of Neolithic mortuary practices in this part of the country is that the large barrow mound was in fact the final phase of construction which was not reached by all monuments. Previously many of the sites where only the ditched enclosure is known have been interpreted as a barrow where the mound has been degraded or removed by subsequent agricultural activity. In some cases the ditched enclosure (mortuary enclosure) represents a monument which never developed a mound. Although the Neolithic long barrow 400m south-south-west of Stainton Hall has been degraded by ploughing, the buried remains of its enclosure ditch were identified from aerial photographs taken in 1980. In 1996 it was scheduled under English Heritage’s (now Historic England) Monuments Protection Programme. Further investigation of the barrow, using aerial photographs taken in 1947, 1980, and 1996, was undertaken in 2016 as part of the Lincolnshire Cropmark Long Barrows Project.

Details

Principal Elements: the buried remains of a Neolithic long barrow located on the crest of a north-east facing valley slope, at the western end of a stream that becomes the Waithe Beck, at around 400m OD south-south-west of Stainton Hall.

Description: although the barrow cannot be seen on the ground, it is clearly visible as a soilmark on aerial photographs. Its trapezoidal ditch, within which there may once have been an earthen mound, is aligned north-west to south-east and measures 53m by 29m at its widest points. The enclosing ditch is interrupted by a causeway at the northern end, widening of the ditches along the sides is thought to indicate recutting of the ditch's profile, suggesting that the barrow continued to be respected and used for some time after its construction. Valuable archaeological deposits will be preserved on the buried ground surface and in the fills of the ditch. These will provide rare information concerning the dating and construction of the monument and the sequence of mortuary practices at the site. The same deposits will also retain environmental evidence illustrating the nature of the landscape in which the monument was set.

The barrow is one of a number of similar monuments associated with the head of the Waithe Beck and with the prehistoric trackway now formalised as High Street.

Extent of Scheduling: the scheduled area is shown on the accompanying map extract and is designed to protect the buried remains of the Neolithic long barrow that lies 400m south-south-west of Stainton Hall. It lies within an area of grass reversion and includes a 5m boundary around the barrow ditch, which is considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 27871

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Books and journals
Field, D, Earthen Long Barrows, The Earliest Monuments in the British Isles, (2006)
Last, J (ed), Beyond the Grave, New Perspectives on Barrows, (2007)
Woodward, A, British Barrows A Matter of Life and Death, (2000)
Jones, D, 'Long Barrows and Neolithic Elongated Enclosures in Lincolnshire: An Analysis of the Air Photographic Evidence' in Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, , Vol. 64, (1998), 83-114
Other
Aerial Photograph, NMR 1740/402-403, 02-Apr-1980
Aerial Photograph, OS/96596 V 077-080, 05-Jun-1996
Aerial Photograph, PLE 2946/4-7, 26-Jan-1980
Aerial Photograph, RAF/CPE/UK/2042 FP 1193-1195, 29-Apr-1947
Aerial Photograph, RAF/CPE/UK/2042 RP 3198-3200, 29-Apr-1947

End of official listing