Neolithic long barrow 870m ENE of Ruckland House

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1015203

Date first listed: 08-May-1996

Map

Ordnance survey map of Neolithic long barrow 870m ENE of Ruckland House
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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Location

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

County: Lincolnshire

District: East Lindsey (District Authority)

Parish: Maidenwell

National Grid Reference: TF 34287 78434

Summary

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.

Although the long barrow 870m ENE of Ruckland House has been degraded by ploughing, rare archaeological deposits will remain on and in the buried ground surface and in the fills of the ditch. These will contain valuable information concerning the dating and construction of the monument and the sequence of burial ritual at the site. Environmental evidence preserved in the same deposits will contain information on the nature of the landscape in which the monument was constructed and used. The close proximity of a second, similar monument about 150m to the south is indicative of the ritual significance of the location during the prehistoric period.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the buried remains of a Neolithic long barrow located 110m above sea level below the summit of a plateau overlooking a tributary of the Great Eau. It is been recorded on aerial photographs as a soilmark 870m ENE of Ruckland House. The monument, of slightly wedge shaped plan, has traces of internal features which are considered to represent the remains of pits and structures associated with mortuary activities. The soil mark represents the remains of a great mound with which these features were once covered. The monument is aligned north east-south west and measures approximately 60m by 28m. Chalk from the mound has been dispersed around the enclosure and is thought to cover the area of the ditch from which it was quarried. A second, similar monument situated in an adjacent field about 150m to the south is the subject of a separate scheduling (SM 27885).

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 10 metre boundary around the archaeological features, 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: 27884

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Other
oblique monochrome photograph, Cox, C D, SF 3218/16, (1986)
oblique monochrome photographs, Everson, P, 2945/8, 10, 13, (1980)

End of official listing