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Billinghay to Tattershall Causeway



Reference Name MLI83329

Name:
Billinghay to Tattershall Causeway

Summary:
There is conjectural evidence that a causeway, dating back possibly as far as the Bronze Age and extending into the 16th century, runs along what is now the A153.

Location:
BILLINGHAY, NORTH KESTEVEN, LINCOLNSHIRE
TATTERSHALL, EAST LINDSEY, LINCOLNSHIRE

Description:
There is conjectural evidence that a causeway, dating back possibly as far as the Bronze Age and extending into the 16th century, runs along what is now the A153, and the line of the 1793 turnpike from Billinghay to Tattershall. The causeway was documented in the medieval period. It is suggested that this causeway formed part of a ritual and symbolic landscape in the Witham Valley. The rituals probably focused on water features, including the River Witham itself.
Like the locations of the other conjectured causeways, there is a sequence of monuments which includes round barrows, and an unusual density of late Bronze Age to Roman finds, which suggests that the rituals changed from inhumation to deposition from the late Bronze Age. These finds include an early Roman bronze trumpet or carnyx (see PRN 62352) and Roman skillet (see PRN 40157).
The locations of monastic establishments in relation to the causeways, and in many cases the fact that the causeways were controlled by these establishments, are thought to represent the 'conversion' of the important spiritual and ritual significance of the area to the Christian tradition. In this case there is a suggestion that there was an early church called St Mary in Tattershall, which existed in the 12th century on the site of the college. This church would have stood at the head of the causeway. The original site of Kirkstead is not known, and may have been close to the causeway. It could be that the 'kirk' element of Kirkstead refers to the early church in Tattershall, which perhaps dated to the 9th to 11th century. {1}

Sources:
1 Article in monograph: Stocker, D. and Everson, P.. 2003. ‘The straight and narrow way: fenland causeways and the conversion of the landscape in the Witham valley, Lincolnshire’, in The Cross Goes North, Processes of Conversion in Northern Europe, AD300-1300, edited by Martin Carver. pp.271-88

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Last updated: 02-April-2017 12:52:52

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