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Hoe Hill (or Cromwell's Grave) Long Barrow, Swinhope

Reference Name MLI54203

Hoe Hill (or Cromwell's Grave) Long Barrow, Swinhope

Neolithic long barrow of Hoe Hill (or Cromwell's Grave), Swinhope.


Early Neolithic long barrow at Hoe Hill, also known locally as Cromwell's Grave. The barrow is screened by a ring of trees, hawthorns and other bushes which form a protective band of about 1m against the surrounding cultivated fields. The mound itself is in a reasonable state of preservation standing between about 2.5m and 3.5m high, being highest in the east end. Near the middle there is a wide depression about 5m across, perhaps fallen in or the result of excavation, certainly not a recent happening. Its condition is quite severe with bare earth and some animal holes. {1}{2}{3}{4}{5}{6}{7}

The monument includes the earthwork and buried remains of an early Neolithic long barrow; one of the largest and most complete long barrows in Lincolnshire, undamaged by ploughing, and overlooking the Waithe Beck. The barrow is aligned east to west and is roughly rectangular in shape, measuring 50m by 17m. It stands to a maximum height of 3m, sloping down at the western end. The barrow mound supports a number of beech trees and is situated in a copse enclosed by a field boundary hedge. Archaeological investigation in 1984 confirmed the existence of a quarry ditch, and that one of the earliest activities on the site was the digging of a marker ditch, considered to be the initial delineation of the area set aside for ritual purposes. Geophysical surveys indicated that these ditches continue around the western terminal. The section of the quarry ditch contained worked flint, pottery and animal bone (radiocarbon dated to 3905-3640BC). Finds from later periods were also discovered. It is called Cromwell's Grave because of a local tradition that it is the burial place of a Roundhead soldier captured and killed on the mound. Its proximity to similar monuments poses wider questions about the nature of Neolithic settlement in the area. {8}{9}{10}

This long barrow is situated towards the top of the slope, on the north-west facing side of the valley of the Waithe Beck. It is aligned east to west, and its long axis traverses the contours. {11}

1 Scheduling Record: MINISTRY OF WORKS. MOW 819. SAM 71
2 Scheduling Record: HBMC. 1981. AM 12. SAM 71
3 Scheduling Record: HBMC. 1987. AM 107. SAM 71
4 Article in Serial: C.W. Phillips. 1934. 'The Present State of Archaeology in Lincolnshire: Part 1' in the Archaeological Journal. vol.LXXXIX, pp.182-4
5 Bibliographic Reference: T.D. Kendrick and C.F.C. Hawkes. 1932. Archaeology in England and Wales, 1914-1931. p.70
6 Index: Ordnance Survey. Ordnance Survey Card Index. TF 29 NW: 11
7 Index: SMR. Sites and Monuments Record Card Index. TF 29 NW: O, 1976
8 Article in Monograph: Patricia Phillips and Simon Probert. 1989. 'Hoe Hill Long Barrow. Stratigraphy of Excavation Across Quarry Ditch' in Archaeology and Landscape Studies in North Lincolnshire. part.1, chapter.2, pp.7-19
10 Article in Serial: A.B. Page (ed.). 1985. 'Archaeology in Lincolnshire and South Humberside, 1984' in Lincolnshire History and Archaeology. vol.20, pp.72-3
11 Index: Dilwyn Jones. 1998. Gazetteer of Neolithic Elongated Enclosures and Extant Long Barrows in (Historic) Lincolnshire. no.52

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Last updated: 08-December-2018 13:35:02

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