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Branston Booths to Bardney Causeway

Reference Name MLI83351

Branston Booths to Bardney Causeway

Branston Booths to Bardney causeway.


There is conjectural evidence that a causeway dating as far back as the Bronze Age runs along what is now the B1190, known as the Branston causeway. There is documentary evidence for a causeway from the medieval period, which includes evidence that although the causeway led across the Branston Fens, the River Witham channel itself was crossed by a ferry. It can be argued that this causeway, like the others in the Witham Valley was part of a ritual and symbolic landscape dating from the Bronze Age and extending into the 16th century. The rituals probably focused on water features, including the River Witham itself.
The eastern terminal of the causeway may relate to the 7th century foundation of Bardney Abbey which was located on Bardney Island, perhaps focused on the chapel of St Andrew, towards which the causeway aims. The monks had assumed responsibility for the causeway before the mid 12th century. It seems that Bardney Island was also a focus for later prehistoric to medieval votive offerings, which have been recovered from the river.
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. {1}

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: 24-July-2015 12:37:05

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