Roman barrow 620m north of Riseholme Hall

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1019053

Date first listed: 09-Oct-1981

Date of most recent amendment: 06-Oct-2000

Map

Ordnance survey map of Roman barrow 620m north of Riseholme Hall
© 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: West Lindsey (District Authority)

Parish: Riseholme

National Grid Reference: SK 98171 76244

Summary

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

Reasons for Designation

Earthen barrows are the most visually spectacular survivals of a wide variety of funerary monuments in Britain dating to the Roman period. Constructed as steep-sided conical mounds, usually of considerable size and occasionally with an encircling bank or ditch, they covered one or more burials, generally believed to be those of high-ranking individuals. The burials were mainly cremations, although inhumations have been recorded, and were often deposited with accompanying grave goods in chambers or cists constructed of wood, tile or stone sealed beneath the barrow mound. Occasionally the mound appears to have been built directly over a funeral pyre. The barrows usually occur singly, although they can be grouped into "cemeteries" of up to ten examples. They are sited in a variety of locations but often occur near Roman roads. A small number of barrows were of particularly elaborate construction, with masonry revetment walls or radial internal walls. Roman barrows are rare nationally, with less than 150 recorded examples, and are generally restricted to lowland England with the majority in East Anglia. The earliest examples date to the first decades of the Roman occupation and occur mainly within this East Anglian concentration. It has been suggested that they are the graves of native British aristocrats who chose to perpetuate aspects of Iron Age burial practice. The majority of the barrows were constructed in the early second century AD but by the end of that century the fashion for barrow building appears to have ended. Occasionally the barrows were re-used when secondary Anglo-Saxon burials were dug into the mound. Many barrows were subjected to cursory investigation by antiquarians in the 19th century and, as little investigation to modern standards has taken place, they remain generally poorly understood. As a rare monument type which exhibits a wide diversity of burial tradition all Roman barrows, unless significantly damaged, are identified as nationally important.

The Roman barrow 620m north of Riseholme Hall survives well as a standing earthwork. As one of the most northerly burial mounds of the period, containing primary and secondary burials close in date, it is an unusual example of the monument class which will provide us with rare information about the development of burial traditions and society in the early part of the Roman period. While the mound itself preserves valuable evidence about its construction, as well as burial and artefactual remains, the old ground surface sealed beneath it also will retain environmental evidence for the nature of the landscape in which the monument was built.

History

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

Details

The monument includes a Roman barrow situated 620m north of Riseholme Hall and approximately 700m east of the Roman road, Ermine Street. Lying near the top of the eastern slope of a shallow north-south valley, it holds a prominent position in the landscape with visibility in all directions, particularly towards Ermine Street. The barrow takes the form of a steep-sided mound with a flat top approximately 2.75m in height. Now slightly oval in plan, measuring 17.5m north-south and 19.5m east-west, it was originally circular, about 18m in diameter. Partial excavation of the mound in 1952 demonstrated that it was constructed in the late first century AD on the site of a cremation: evidence for burning, fragments of human bone and vessels of pottery and glass were found in a shallow trench in the old ground surface. A secondary burial of the same period, consisting of a human cremation in a pottery vessel covered by a stone slab, was found near the surface of the mound in 1935. There is no evidence for a ditch around the mound. Finds of third and fourth century pottery nearby indicate that the area remained occupied throughout the Roman period.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Legacy

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

Legacy System number: 22767

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing