Neolithic long barrow and two Bronze Age bowl barrows 250m north east of Cold Harbour Farm

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1016670

Date first listed: 02-Jul-1999

Map

Ordnance survey map of Neolithic long barrow and two Bronze Age bowl barrows 250m north east of Cold Harbour Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
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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: Stenigot

National Grid Reference: TF 26672 81795, TF 26730 81701, TF 26941 81730

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.

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar, although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring across most of lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historical element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection. Although the barrows 250m north east of Cold Harbour Farm cannot be seen on the ground, their ditches survive well as infilled and buried features. Further features not revealed by aerial photography will also be preserved beneath the present ground surface. The fills of these features will contain rare and valuable artefactual and organic evidence, including human remains, relating to the construction, dating, periods of use and religious beliefs of the barrow builders. Environmental deposits preserved in the same features may illustrate the changing nature of the landscape in which the barrows were set. The proximity of the Bronze Age barrows to the earlier, Neolithic, barrow suggests that the location had enduring ritual significance. The long barrow is one of a group focussed on the prehistoric trackway now known as the Bluestone Heath Road, and on the valley of the River Bain. Comparative evidence from all these barrows may have considerable significance for the study of communications, settlement and demography 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 and two Bronze Age bowl barrows situated 250m north east of Cold Harbour Farm above and to the east of the source of a tributary of the River Bain. The long barrow lies on a north facing slope, on the crest of which the two bowl barrows are sited. The three barrows are within three separate areas of protection. Although the barrows cannot be seen on the ground, their infilled and buried ditches are visible from the air as cropmarks (areas of enhanced crop growth resulting from higher levels of moisture retained by the underlying archaeological features). These cropmarks have been recorded on aerial photographs since 1995. The long barrow ditch defines the area set aside for funerary and ritual activities. It is roughly trapezoidal in shape, measuring approximately 62m long by 28m wide and oriented south east to north west, traversing the contour of the hill slope. The curve of the broad south eastern terminal is less pronounced than that to the north west. No causeway across the ditch is apparent, and this may indicate that the long barrow is an example of the simpler form which was not elaborated by the construction of a large earthwork mound. Nevertheless, whilst some thickening of the side ditches suggests recutting, it is possible that this took place to provide enough material to give a low covering to the interior. Internal features such as ritual pits, post holes and mortuary surfaces and deposits will be preserved beneath the present ground surface. The two bowl barrows are defined by circular ditches from which material for the barrow mounds would have been quarried. The larger of the two lies approximately 100m to the south east of the long barrow and measures about 35m in diameter. The second barrow ditch has a diameter of approximately 15m and is situated 215m to the east of the larger bowl barrow. The long barrow is considered to belong to a group of similar monuments, both simple and elaborated, which focussed on the River Bain and its tributaries and with the prehistoric trackway now formalised as the Bluestone Heath Road.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 29738

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Other
oblique monochrome prints, TF2681/1-2, (1995)

End of official listing