Neolithic long barrow 350m south west of Sycamore Farm


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018893

Date first listed: 16-Apr-1999


Ordnance survey map of Neolithic long barrow 350m south west of Sycamore Farm
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This copy shows the entry on 16-Dec-2018 at 17:10:05.


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

County: Lincolnshire

District: East Lindsey (District Authority)

Parish: Binbrook

National Grid Reference: TF 21967 92597


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 350m south west of Sycamore Farm is no longer visible on the ground, its buried and infilled ditch and internal ritual area will retain rare and valuable archaeological deposits including human remains. These will provide evidence relating to the barrow's date of construction, period of use and the religious practices of its builders. Environmental evidence preserved in the same contexts may illustrate the nature of the landscape in which the monument was set.

The long barrow is one of a large group of similar monuments focussed on the Waithe Beck and its tributaries. Comparisons between these barrows may have considerable implications for the study of communications, settlement and demography during the Neolithic period.


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


The monument includes the buried remains of a Neolithic long barrow 350m south west of Sycamore Farm, on a north-facing slope at the head of a dry valley and south east of a tributary of the Waithe Beck.

Although the long barrow is no longer visible on the ground, it can be seen from the air and has been recorded on aerial photographs as a cropmark since 1989. The cropmark (an area of enhanced crop growth resulting from the retention of higher moisture levels in the underlying archaeological features) represents the infilled and buried ditch surrounding the area set aside for funerary and ritual activities.

The long barrow ditch is roughly trapezoid in shape, measuring approximately 50m long by 20m wide overall and oriented ESE to WNW, following the contour of the hillslope. The broad, eastern terminal is straight and that to the west is more rounded. No causeway across the ditch is apparent and this is thought to indicate that the long barrow is an example of the simpler form which was not elaborated by the construction of a large earthwork mound.

The internal area contains a circular feature about 8m in diameter, situated towards the south eastern end. This location suggests that the feature probably represents the main burial site and focus of ritual. Investigations at similar sites elsewhere in the region indicate that other features, including pits and postholes, are likely to be preserved beneath the present ground surface.

The long barrow is considered to belong to a group of similar monuments, both simple and elaborated, which are focussed on the Waithe Beck and its tributaries.

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: 29746

Legacy System: RSM


oblique monochrome print, NMR 4415 TF2192/2, (1989)
oblique monochrome prints, NMR 12261 TF2192/10-14, (1992)

End of official listing