Folk Moot bowl barrow, Butt Lees


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
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Ordnance survey map of Folk Moot bowl barrow, Butt Lees
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

North Kesteven (District Authority)
Silk Willoughby
National Grid Reference:
TF 05381 42985

Reasons for Designation

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 historic 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.

Folk Moot bowl barrow survives well as a substantial earthwork feature with associated buried deposits, and represents a good example of the monument type in an area where the above ground survival of prehistoric features is rare. As part of a former barrow cemetery, of which only one other mound is now evident, its significance as a boundary marker in the early medieval period attests to its continued importance as feature of the landscape. Its later reuse as an archery butt, meeting place and possible beacon have involved little disturbance to earlier remains while enhancing their historical interest, and the monument will thus include intact archaeological deposits with the potential for the recovery of valuable artefactual and ecological evidence for over 4000 years of human activity.


The monument includes a bowl barrow situated in Butt Lees approximately 330m west of St Denys' Church. The mound, which survives to a height of over 2m, was formerly circular but has been curtailed slightly on the north side and now measures approximately 19m by 16m. The encircling ditch, from which material used in the construction of the mound was quarried, has been largely infilled and is now visible as a shallow depression up to 8m wide on the north and north east sides of the mound; elsewhere it will survive as a buried feature. Limited archaeological excavation of the mound in 1933 revealed pottery fragments thought to be Middle Bronze Age in date, and burnt stones in the upper part of the mound indicating that it was later reused as a base for bonfires.

The Folk Moot is one of a group of four mounds which was recorded in Butt Lees in the early 20th century. The only other mound still evident, Butt Mound, is the subject of a separate scheduling. The group appears to represent the remains of a Bronze Age barrow cemetery which, in the early medieval period, served to mark the boundary between the villages of Silkby and Willoughby. The surviving mounds are thought to have been reused as archery butts in the medieval and post-medieval periods. The Folk Moot may also have been reused as a beacon or as a meeting place for village festivities.

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.

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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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