Neolithic Long Barrows
North of Skendleby, Lincolnshire OS Map Ref TF42867110
OS Maps - Landranger 122 (Skegness & Horncastle), Explorer 274 (Skegness, Alford & Spilsby)
Giant's Hills I in early summer 2002 - looking east. (View 1 - see plan)
the southeast of Ulceby and to the west of the Roman road now known as the
A1028 are the remains of the 3 Giant's Hills long
barrows. The first of the 3 barrows - Giants Hills 1, is situated at
TF42867110 on a south facing valley lip at a height of 70 metres above sea-level.
It is aligned southeast to northwest and follows the contours of the hillside.
Measuring 64 metres in length and with a width of 23 metres it is the shortest
of the 3 barrows but is by far the best preserved of the group. It
was excavated by C. W. Phillips between 1933 and 1934, who found a large
wooden enclosure which contained a small platform of chalk blocks. Laid
out on these blocks were the remains of 7 adults and a child - interestingly
there was a line of 8 posts across the northwest end of the barrow, these
may be linked to the number of burials.
In the same way that many southern barrows have large blocking stones at their entrances, this barrow had a façade of huge split timbers arranged in a crescent at its southeast, it has even been suggested that these may have been carved or painted. From this frontage, two lines of posts ran almost the entire length of the barrow and parts of it seem to have been divided up with a hurdling fence. The entire barrows was surrounded by an encircling quarry ditch with a narrow causeway at the northwest end.
The second barrow in the group - Giant's Hills 2 - is a little further down the hillside at TF42927088 and stands 55 metres above sea-level. Due to plough damage it now survives as only a very slight swelling on the ground but originally it would have been some 77 metres long by 19 metres wide. It is also aligned southeast to northwest and follows the contours of the hill. Results of excavations were published by Evans and Simpson in 1991 showing the barrow had a trapezoid form with a fully enclosing outer quarry ditch.
The third barrow now survives only as a cropmark, and stood at TF42787127. It was aligned southeast to northwest, again following the contours of the hill at 75 metres above sea-level, and measured 76 metres by 23 metres. All three of the barrows date from the Neolithic and make an interesting comparison with the better preserved Deadmen's Graves a mile away to the northeast.
The view looking southeast along the spine of Giant's Hills I from close to the western end, spring 2010. This is the only section of the barrow that isn't now overgrown with grasses, brambles and bushes. (View 2 - see plan)
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