Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bee Low bowl barrow

A Scheduled Monument in Youlgreave, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.1794 / 53°10'45"N

Longitude: -1.7148 / 1°42'53"W

OS Eastings: 419159.989647

OS Northings: 364735.021791

OS Grid: SK191647

Mapcode National: GBR 46S.R87

Mapcode Global: WHCDD.MBNZ

Entry Name: Bee Low bowl barrow

Scheduled Date: 23 March 1971

Last Amended: 15 October 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008001

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23237

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Youlgreave

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Youlgreave All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Derby


Bee Low bowl barrow is a roughly circular barrow situated in the central
uplands of the limestone plateau of Derbyshire. The monument includes a 1.5m
high mound with a diameter of 16m. Partial excavations carried out by Thomas
Bateman in 1843 and 1851, and by Marsden in the late 1960s, have revealed the
remains of eleven human burials of adults and children, most of which were
crouched inhumations but some of which were cremations. The primary burial was
a cremation laid on a flat stone at the centre of the mound adjacent to a
barbed and tanged flint arrowhead. Several of the secondary burials were laid
in rock-cut graves or cists formed of limestone slabs, one of which was
covered by a paved chert ceiling. In addition to the crouched skeleton, the
latter grave contained a flint knife and a decorated clay drinking vessel.
This and other similar vessels assign the barrow to the Beaker period or Early
Bronze Age, and this date is supported by other Bronze Age artefacts which, in
addition to flint implements, include a number of Bronze pins. Also found, on
the old land surface beneath the barrow, was a Neolithic polished stone axe
and a pointed arrowhead of a similar date. These earlier artefacts are likely
to be residual remains contained in the material used to build the barrow.
The boundary walls and fencing crossing the edges of the monument are excluded
from the scheduling although the ground underneath these features is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments
dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most
examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as
earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple
burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often
acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar,
although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form
and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl
barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring
across most of lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are
a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable
variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important
information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early
prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period
and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of

Although Bee Low bowl barrow has been disturbed by excavation, further
significant archaeological remains will survive in the unexcavated areas of
the monument and on the old land surface underneath.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Abercromby, J, Bronze Age Pottery of the British Isles, (1912), 56,88
Barnatt, J, The Peak District Barrow Survey (1989), (1989)
Barnatt, J, The Peak District Barrow Survey (1989), (1989)
Bateman, T, Vestiges of the Antiquities of Derbyshire, (1849), 35
Bateman, T, Ten Years Diggings in Celtic and Saxon Grave-Hills, (1861), 71-4
Clarke, D L, The Beaker Pottery of Great Britain and Ireland, (1970), 383,478
Marsden, B M, The Burial Mounds of Derbyshire , (1977), 102
Marsden, B, 'Journal of Antiquaries' in The Excavation of the Bee Low Round Cairn, (1970)

Source: Historic England

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