Hengi-form monument and two bowl barrows 500m east of St Andrew's Church


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017463

Date first listed: 16-Jan-1998


Ordnance survey map of Hengi-form monument and two bowl barrows 500m east of St Andrew's Church
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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: TF 18114 94480


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

Reasons for Designation

Hengi-form monuments are ritual or ceremonial centres closely connected with burial and dating to the Middle and Late Neolithic periods (3000-2000 BC). They were constructed as flat, roughly circular enclosures comprising an area of ground typically between 5m and 20m across enclosed by a ditch with external bank. One entrance or two opposing entrances through the earthwork provided access to the interior of the monument which often contained pits, cremation pits, postholes and graves. Cremation pits and postholes were often present around the perimeter of the site. They are distinguished from standard henges by their small size and their more specific association with burial. Finds from the ditches and interiors of hengi-form monuments provide important evidence for the chronological development of the sites, the types of activity that occurred within them and the nature of the environment in which they were constructed. Most examples are situated on gravel terraces or on hill slopes. They sometimes occur in pairs or groups of three in close proximity. Hengi- form monuments are very rare nationally with only 24 examples known, although this is likely to be an underestimate in view of the difficulties in recognition. As one of the few types of identified Neolithic structures and in view of their rarity, all hengi-form monuments are considered to be of national importance.

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 orgnisations 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 hengi-form monument and the bowl barrows 500m east of St Andrew's Church have been reduced by ploughing, rare and valuable archaeological deposits, including human remains, will be preserved in the buried ground surfaces, the fills of the buried ditches and the pits. These will provide information concerning the dating and construction of the hengi-form monument and the barrows, including the sequence of mortuary practices at the site. Archaeological evidence retained in the fills of the linear boundary ditch and that of the rectilinear enclosure may indicate a further sequence of land use. The same deposits will also retain environmental evidence to illustrate the nature of the landscape in which all these features were set. The area of buried ground surface between the features will contain evidence for ritual and funerary activities relating to the sites over a considerable length of time, and may provide indications of the evolving nature of religious practices during this period. The close association of these features demonstrates the continuing ritual significance of the location and may have wider implications for the study of demography and settlement patterns during the prehistoric period.


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


The monument includes the buried remains of a Late Neolithic hengi-form monument and two Bronze Age bowl barrows situated on the northern bank of the Waithe Beck, some 500m east of St Andrew's Church. An infilled and buried linear boundary ditch abuts the western arcs of the barrows and a sample of this feature, together with the intervening ground between the hengi-form monument and the barrows is also included in the scheduling. Although this grouping cannot be seen on the ground, it is clearly visible from the air as a series of cropmarks. The buried remains are revealed as areas of more verdant growth resulting from the higher levels of moisture retained by the buried ditches and further infilled features thought to be funerary or ritual pits. The hengi-form monument is delineated by an oval ditch broken by causeways to the east and west, and enclosing an area measuring approximately 15m long by 10m wide. Material from the ditch would have been used to construct an outer bank with entrances positioned to match the causeways. Although this bank has been denuded by ploughing, its basal traces are thought to survive beneath the present ground surface. Aerial evidence indicates at least two pits cut into the interior. Such pits are commonly found to contain cremation deposits which may also be found scattered within the central area and within the fills of the ditch. The buried remains of two Bronze Age bowl barrows are situated some 25m east of the hengi-form monument. Both barrows are defined by circular ditches, that to the south measuring approximately 15m in diameter, while the northern barrow is some 12m across. Material quarried from these ditches would have been used to construct large earthwork mounds over the central, primary burials. Although the mounds have been reduced by ploughing, cropmark evidence clearly indicates the positions of these burials. An infilled and buried linear ditch running north-south abuts the western arcs of both barrow ditches. This is thought to be a boundary feature which is cut by the modern road to the north but can be traced in the field beyond. It is not known whether this ditch is contemporary with either the barrows or the hengi-form monument but a sample is included in the scheduling to preserve its stratigraphic relationship with these features. A large, roughly rectangular ditched enclosure lies to the east of the monument. The function of this enclosure is not known but a small sample of its western side, which is aligned with the barrows, is included in the scheduling to preserve its relationship with the monument.

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


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

Legacy System number: 27919

Legacy System: RSM


Cropmarks at Stainton le Vale, (1985)
oblique colour photograph, SH 125, (1985)
oblique colour print, Cropmarks at Stainton le Vale, (1985)
oblique monochrome photograph, BUX 004, (1975)
oblique monochrome print, Cropmarks at Stainton le Vale, (1975)
oblique monochrome print, Cropmarks at Stainton le Vale: BUX 004, (1975)
Title: National Mapping Programme: Lincolnshire Source Date: 1992 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: feature plotted from aerial evidence

End of official listing