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Ponton Heath Barrow Cemetery

Reference Name MLI34182

Ponton Heath Barrow Cemetery

A middle Bronze Age cemetery of at least 11 barrows at Ponton Heath.


A middle Bronze Age cemetery of at least 11 barrows, identified during ironstone workings in this area. Five of the barrows were investigated in 1959, immediately prior to their destruction by the expanding quarrying works. The investigated barrows are summarised below, but see Greenfield's article in Lincolnshire History and Archaeology (1985) for full details:

Barrow 1 - SK 8901 3039: Measuring over 30m in diameter and between about 0.5m and 1m in height. Only preliminary observations were made before the mound was covered by a large quarry spoil heap, and no excavation was possible.

Barrow 2 - SK 8908 3041: The best preserved of the investigated group, this barrow measured about 37m in diameter and was about 0.45m to 0.6m in height. A hasty examination of the centre of the barrow was permitted, and the location of the primary burial grave cut was found, excavated and recorded. Although no human remains or cremations survived, the remains of a possible coffin were noted as a stain mark within the grave cut. Parts of a Fine Food pottery vessel, a flint knife and flint 'fabricator' were found within the primary grave cut, whilst further flint artefacts (two scrapers and a saw fragment) and a sherd of Beaker pottery were recovered from the mound deposits.

Barrow 3 - SK 8933 3038: The southern half of this barrow had been impacted by the quarry works prior to investigation, and its former dimensions were not noted. The works exposed a primary cremation burial within a small pit located roughly in the centre of the barrow, and 17 secondary cremations in a rough arc around the southern periphery. All of the secondary burials had been largely scraped away by the works, and only fragments of the human remains and pottery vessels survived, although enough evidence remained in situ to record their positions. The primary burial was, however, intact, and was excavated, revealing a large cinerary urn sitting inverted over a deposit of burnt bone within the small, roughly circular pit. The base and part of the lower walls of the vessel had been damaged by the works, but enough remained to show it was a large Collared Urn with vertical and horizontal cord impressed decoration on the collar, and whipped cord herringbone decoration on the neck.

Barrow 4 - SK 8941 3038: The most easterly of the group of investigated barrows, this monument had been half destroyed by the quarrying works, but could be seen to have measured approximately 30m in diameter and 0.45m in height. No primary deposit was discovered in the parts of the barrow that were investigated, although a single secondary cremation burial was recorded. This cremation was deposited in a shallow, oval-shaped depression cut into the barrow mound, and represented the burnt remains of a probably adult male individual. No pottery or other finds were found in association with this individual.

Barrow 5 - SK 8937 3035: This barrow lay slightly to the south of the main east to west line of investigated barrows, between barrows 3 and 4. It had been almost entirely removed by the quarrying works and its previous diameter and height could not be ascertained. A primary cremation burial was recorded in the centre of the monument, deposited in a small pit, similar to that found in barrow 3. A fine Bronze Age Collared Urn was found within the burial pit. The remains of two secondary creamtion burials were also recorded, to the north and east of the primary burial. A single plano-convex flint knife was found in association with one of the secondary burials.

Five of the remaining barrows in Great Ponton parish are scheduled. These barrows are under arable, and are visible only as slight ridges at:
a) SK 8869 3005
b) SK 8878 3004
c) SK 8910 3008
d) SK 8915 3012
e) SK 8920 3014

1 Index: Ordnance Survey. Ordnance Survey Card Index. SK 83 SE: 24, 1963, DA
2 Index: SMR. Sites and Monuments Record Card Index. SK 83 SE: O, P, T
3 Article in Serial: PETCH, D.F.. 1961. ‘Archaeological Notes for 1959 and 1960’ in Lincolnshire Architectural and Archaeological Society Reports and Papers. vol.9, part.1, p.11
4 Article in Serial: 1960. PROCEEDINGS OF THE PREHISTORIC SOCIETY. vol.26, p.343
7 Bibliographic Reference: MAY, J.. 1976. Prehistoric Lincolnshire. pp.72, 75
8 Map: Baker, F. T.. OS 6 INCH SERIES. SK83SE
10 Correspondence: Greenfield, Ernest. 1964. PARISH FILE. LITTLE PONTON AND STROXTON. -
11 Unpublished Document: Greenfield, Ernest. 1959. Five Bronze Age Round Barrows at Ponton Heath, Stroxton, Lincolnshire. -
12 Article in Serial: Greenfield, Ernest. 1985. 'Five Bronze Age Round Barrows at Ponton Heath, Stroxton, Lincolnshire' in Lincolnshire History and Archaeology. vol.20, pp.35-44

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Last updated: 06-December-2017 13:52:56

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