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Catley Priory causeway

Reference Name MLI83327

Catley Priory causeway

Catley Priory causeway


There is conjectural evidence that a causeway dating back possibly as far as the Bronze Age was located in Walcott, close to Catley Priory (60709) and the round barrow cemeteries (60312 and 60313), probably along what is now Digby Road. This causeway, and the monuments located close to it, are thought to have formed part of a ritual and symbolic landscape in the Witham Valley dating possibly as far back as the Bronze Age, and extending into the sixteenth century. The rituals probably focused on water features, including the River Witham itself.
It seems that the rituals changed from inhumation to deposition from the late Bronze Age. A decorated early Bronze Age flat axe was found close to the line of the conjectured causeway, and is thought to be votive. This sequence of monuments is similar to other places where causeways are thought to have existed.
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' and guardianship of the important spiritual and ritual significance of the area to the Christian tradition. In this case the monastic establishment is Catley Abbey. {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: 11-December-2016 14:55:25

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