Neolithic long barrow 770m ESE of Rowston Grange


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1013916

Date first listed: 08-May-1996


Ordnance survey map of Neolithic long barrow 770m ESE of Rowston Grange
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This copy shows the entry on 18-Feb-2019 at 08:41:56.


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

County: Lincolnshire

District: North Kesteven (District Authority)

Parish: Walcott

National Grid Reference: TF 11551 55590

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.

Although the buried remains of the Neolithic long barrow 770m ESE of Rowston Grange are not visible on the ground they are clearly visible from the air and will retain valuable archaeological deposits on and in the buried ground surface and in the fills of the ditch which will contain important information relating to the dating and construction of the barrow and the sequence of burial ritual at the site. Environmental evidence preserved in these deposits will contain information on the nature of the landscape in which the monument was constructed and used, and may provide insight into the sequence of inundation in this part of the fens. The monument is the only long barrow so far discovered in the Lincolnshire fens and is, therefore, a valuable example which may demonstrate cultural similarities and differences between the regional group of long barrows associated with the Lincolnshire Wolds, and those known in the fenlands of Cambridgeshire. The close proximity of a Bronze Age barrow cemetery at Walcott Commons, c.700m to the east, indicates the continuing ritual significance of this location during the prehistoric period.


The monument includes the buried remains of a Neolithic long barrow located 5m above sea level on the drained fenland of Walcott Commons, 770m ESE of Rowston Grange. Although the long barrow cannot be seen on the ground, it has been recorded on aerial photographs as a cropmark representing a roughly oblong mound, now degraded by ploughing, and enclosed by a ditch. It is aligned north-south and measures c.38m long by 20m wide. The location of this long barrow in a fenland setting is currently unique in Lincolnshire though parallels are known in the Cambridgeshire fens. The Bronze Age barrow cemetery at Walcott Commons, which is the subject of a separate scheduling, lies approximately 700m to the east of the monument.

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: 27900

Legacy System: RSM


oblique monochrome photograph, St Joseph, J K, FO.9,

End of official listing