Shearman's Wath henge, 330m north of Thimbleby Mill


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


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

East Lindsey (District Authority)
West Ashby
National Grid Reference:
TF 25345 71687

Reasons for Designation

Henges are ritual or ceremonial centres which date to the Late Neolithic period (2800-2000 BC). They were constructed as roughly circular or oval- shaped enclosures comprising a flat area over 20m in diameter enclosed by a ditch and external bank. One, two or four entrances provided access to the interior of the monument, which may have contained a variety of features including timber or stone circles, post or stone alignments, pits, burials or central mounds. Finds from the ditches and interiors of henges 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. Henges occur throughout England with the exception of south-eastern counties and the Welsh Marches. They are generally situated on low ground, often close to springs and water-courses. Henges are rare nationally with about 80 known examples. As one of the few types of identified Neolithic structures and in view of their comparative rarity, all henges are considered to be of national importance.

Although Shearman's Wath henge has been reduced by ploughing, it survives well as a buried feature, the component parts of which are clearly visible from the air. The external ring of pits or post holes makes the henge an unusual example of its type, perhaps suggesting a phase of adaptation. The fills of the buried ditch and the pits will retain rare and valuable archaeological evidence, including artefacts, relating to the monument's construction, dating, period of use and function. Environmental material preserved in these same deposits may illustrate the nature of the landscape in which the monument was set.


The buried remains of Shearman's Wath henge are situated 330m north of Thimbleby Mill on the glacial sands and gravels of the flood plain edge, some 150m east of the River Bain. The monument, which has been reduced by ploughing, can no longer be seen on the ground. It is, however, clearly visible from the air, and has been recorded on aerial photographs since 1970. These photographs show a series of cropmarks (areas of crop growth enhanced by higher moisture retention) which represent the buried ditch and the outer ring of post holes. The ditch measures up to 2m in width and encloses an oval area roughly 25m in diameter. It is broken by a broad causeway or entrance facing north west, and a second, less distinct entranceway directly opposite, to the south east. Slight breaks in the ditch around this south eastern entrance are thought to indicate segmented construction. No traces of an outer bank have been recorded to date, but the ditch is enclosed - at a distance of up to 3m - by a ring of at least 24 circular pits. The pits are evenly spaced around the ditch and entrances and may once have supported posts or even stones. Fieldwalking in the area around the henge has produced worked flint which is typically associated with this class of monument. The henge is thought to have originated in the Late Neolithic period, remaining a focus of attention during the Early Bronze Age.

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.

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Books and journals
Field, F N, 'Archaeology in Lincolnshire and South Humberside' in West Ashby, Henge Monument, , Vol. 17, (1990), 76-77
oblique monochrome prints, BCG 82-84, (1970)
oblique monochrome prints, BIN 014, (1975)


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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