Neolithic long barrow 280m south of Burgh Top Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013904

Date first listed: 28-Nov-1934

Date of most recent amendment: 09-May-1996


Ordnance survey map of Neolithic long barrow 280m south of Burgh Top Farm
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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: Burgh on Bain

National Grid Reference: TF 21294 84976


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.

Burgh Top long barrow is a substantial and prominent earthwork clearly visible from the public highway to the west. It remains largely undisturbed and will, therefore, retain good archaeological deposits beneath the mound and in the fills of the ditch. These will provide rare and valuable information regarding the dating and construction of the barrow and the sequence of burial ritual at the site. Environmental evidence will be preserved in the same deposits, illustrating the appearance of the landscape in which the monument was set. The monument's association with a number of other Neolithic and Bronze Age burial mounds and with the adjacent prehistoric trackway poses wider questions concerning the ritual significance of the landscape above the River Bain and has valuable implications for the study of demography and settlement patterns during the prehistoric period.


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The monument includes the earthwork remains of a Neolithic long barrow located 130m above sea level below the summit of a plateau overlooking the valley of the River Bain, some 280m south of Burgh Top Farm. The mound, which is aligned WSW-ENE, measures approximately 27m long by 13.5m wide and is roughly oval in shape. At the western end the height is 2.2m, reducing to 1.5m over the length of the mound, giving it a whale-back profile. A quantity of worked flint has been found in the vicinity of the barrow indicating prehistoric activity on and around the monument. Material for the mound would have been quarried from an encircling ditch. This ditch is not now visible, but is thought to survive buried beneath the present ground surface. The long barrow is one of a number of Neolithic and Bronze Age burial mounds associated with the valley of the River Bain and with High Street (the B1225) which originated as a prehistoric trackway and which is situated c.100m to the west.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 7 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: 27877

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Phillips, C W, 'Archaeological Journal' in The Long Barrows of Lincolnshire, , Vol. 89, (1933), 198-99

End of official listing