The crop mark of a Neolithic long barrow located north west of Calceby.
Reasons for Designation
The Neolithic long barrow 800m north west of Calceby is scheduled for the following principal reasons:
* Survival: as a clearly defined crop mark representing the burial practices, beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities;
* Potential: for the buried archaeological deposits which retain considerable potential to provide evidence relating to social organisation and demographics, cultural associations, human development, disease, diet, and death rituals. Buried environmental evidence can also inform us about the landscape in which the barrows were constructed;
* Period: as one of very few monument types dating to the early prehistoric period, it is highly representative of the Neolithic;
* Rarity: as an example of a monument type which is rare nationally and one of very few monument types to offer insight into the lives and deaths of early prehistoric communities in this country.
Long barrows and chambered tombs are the main forms of Neolithic funerary monument, constructed from before 3800 BC with new monuments continuing to be built throughout the 4th millennium BC. Where they are precisely dated it appears their primary use for burial rarely lasted longer than about 100 years. Generally comprising long, linear earthen mounds or stone cairns, often flanked by ditches, they can appear as distinctive features in the landscape. They measure up to about 100m in length, 35m in width and 4m in height, and are sometimes trapezoidal or oval in plan. Earthen long barrows are found mostly in southern and eastern England and are usually unchambered, although some examples have been found to contain timber mortuary structures. Regional variation in construction is generally a reflection of locally available resources. Megalithic or stone, chambered tombs are most common in Scotland and Wales, but are also found in those parts of England with ready access to the large stones and boulders from which they are constructed, especially the Cotswolds, the South West and Kent. There are around 540 long barrows recorded nationally.
Long barrows of the Lincolnshire Wolds 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. A small number survive as earthworks but the majority are known from crop marks and soil marks where no or very low mounds are evident on the surface. Not all Lincolnshire long barrows had mounds and our current understanding of Neolithic mortuary practices in this part of the country is that the large barrow mound was in fact the final phase of construction which was not reached by all monuments. Previously many of the sites where only the ditched enclosure is known have been interpreted as a barrow where the mound has been degraded or removed by subsequent agricultural activity. In some cases the ditched enclosure (mortuary enclosure) represents a monument which never developed a mound.
The long barrow 800m north west of Calceby, which survives as a slight earthwork, was recorded as a crop mark on photographs taken in 1980 and 1981.
Principal elements: The crop mark of a Neolithic long barrow located north west of Calceby. The barrow lies below the crest of the hill to the north of the Bluestone Heath Road, overlooking an un-named tributary of Calceby Beck. It is aligned north west – south east and lies on a north east facing slope at approximately 45m AOD.
Description: The long barrow is visible on aerial photographs as a U-shaped ditch orientated north west - south east. This is open on the south-eastern side. Very faint crop marks on aerial photographs dating to 2013 suggest a continuation of the ditch but they are more likely to be a coincidence of geological marks. Crop marks also indicate a number of features within the ditched enclosure, including a cut feature centrally placed along the length of the monument. At the north-western end, irregular crop marks indicate a circular feature which appears to represent later modification of the long barrow.
The barrow shows as a slight earthwork on a 1973 vertical photograph, this is again evident on a digital elevation model (DEM) of 2016 which records the survival of a slight earthwork, largely but not entirely positioned within the cropmarks of the ditch. This may well represent the spread remains of the mound as a result of post-war arable agricultural practices. The barrow, including the dimensions of the spread mound, is approximately 60m long and 40m wide.
Valuable archaeological deposits will be preserved on the buried ground surface and in the fills of the ditch. These will provide rare information concerning the dating and construction of the monument and the sequence of mortuary practices at the site. The same deposits will also retain environmental evidence illustrating the nature of the landscape in which the monument was set.
There are several ditches including a curvilinear ditch to the east of the barrow and D-shaped and rectilinear enclosures to the north east, although these lie outside the area of protection.