Neolithic long barrow 380m south west of Thorganby House

Overview

Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1020359

Date first listed: 15-Jun-1999

Map

Ordnance survey map of Neolithic long barrow 380m south west of Thorganby House
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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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: Thorganby

National Grid Reference: TF 20532 97329

Summary

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 buried remains of the long barrow 380m south west of Thorganby House are not visible on the ground, the infilled ditch survives well and will retain, together with the old, buried ground surface, artefactual and organic material, including human remains. These will provide rare and valuable evidence relating to the date of construction, period of use and funerary practices of the barrow builders. Environmental evidence preserved in the same features may illustrate the landscape in which the monument was set. The long barrow is one of a number of similar monuments which, focussed in the area of the Waithe Beck, suggests that the location had considerable ritual significance in the Neolithic period. Evidence from this group of barrows may have implications for the study of prehistoric settlement patterns and demography.

History

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

Details

The monument includes the buried remains of a Neolithic long barrow situated 380m south west of Thorganby House on the east-facing slopes of the Waithe Beck valley. Although the long barrow cannot be seen on the ground, it is clearly visible from the air as a cropmark (an area of enhanced crop growth resulting from higher levels of moisture retained by the underlying archaeological features), which has been recorded on aerial photographs. The barrow, which is oriented east to west, is defined by a roughly oval shaped ditch measuring 44m east to west and 19m north to south overall. Its western terminal is somewhat pointed whilst the eastern end is slightly convex. Since the ditch is not broken by a causeway, it is thought that this is an example of the simpler form of Lincolnshire Wolds long barrow which was not elaborated by the construction of a substantial earthwork mound over the area set aside for funerary activities. The area defined by the ditch will contain buried archaeological remains relating to these activities, including burial deposits, artefacts and ritual pits together with evidence for the processes of construction. The monument lies approximately 900m due south of the long barrow at Thorganby Hall, and 1.25km NNW of Ash Hill long barrow, both the subject of separate schedulings, all of which are part of a larger group which is associated with the Waithe Beck and its tributaries.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 10 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: 29756

Legacy System: RSM

Sources

Other
oblique monochrome prints, TF2097/5-8 Frames 57-60, (1995)

End of official listing