Ancient Monuments

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Ox Low oval barrow

A Scheduled Monument in Peak Forest, Derbyshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.3216 / 53°19'17"N

Longitude: -1.8062 / 1°48'22"W

OS Eastings: 413002.696657

OS Northings: 380541.484134

OS Grid: SK130805

Mapcode National: GBR HZT1.R0

Mapcode Global: WHCCL.7R4X

Entry Name: Ox Low oval barrow

Scheduled Date: 8 January 1971

Last Amended: 25 February 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008062

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23264

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Peak Forest

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Peak Forest and Dove Holes

Church of England Diocese: Derby

Details

The monument is an oval barrow situated above Conies Dale in the north-west
uplands of the limestone plateau of Derbyshire. It includes an oval mound
measuring 19.5m from east to west and 12m from north to south. Upslope to the
east it is c.0.25m high while downslope to the west, it is c.1m high. A hollow
towards the eastern end is the site of a partial excavation carried out by Tym
in the 1870s when a limestone cist or grave was found containing a crouched
human skeleton, a boar's tusk and a perforated stone hammer. Oval barrows
generally date to the Neolithic period but the excavated remains indicate that
the barrow was re-used in the Bronze Age.

MAP EXTRACT
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

Oval barrows are funerary and ceremonial monuments of the Early to Middle
Neolithic periods, with the majority of dated monuments belonging to the later
part of the range. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds of
roughly elliptical plan, usually delimited by quarry ditches. These ditches
can vary from paired "banana-shaped" ditches flanking the mound to "U-shaped"
or unbroken oval ditches nearly or wholly encircling it. Along with the long
barrows, oval barrows represent the burial places of Britain's early farming
communities and, as such, are amongst the oldest field monuments surviving
visibly in the present landscape. Where investigated, oval barrows have
produced two distinct types of burial rite: communal burials of groups of
individuals, including adults and children, laid directly on the ground
surface before the barrow was built; and burials of one or two adults interred
in a grave pit centrally placed beneath the barrow mound. Certain sites
provide evidence for several phases of funerary monument preceding the barrow
and, consequently, it is probable that they may have acted as important ritual
sites for local communities over a considerable period of time. Similarly, as
the filling of the ditches around oval barrows often contains deliberately
placed deposits of pottery, flintwork and bone, periodic ceremonial activity
may have taken place at the barrow subsequent to its construction. Oval
barrows are very rare nationally, with less than 50 recorded examples in
England. As one of the few types of Neolithic structure to survive as
earthworks, and due to their rarity, their considerable age and their
longevity as a monument type, all oval barrows are considered to be nationally
important.

Ox Low is a good example of an oval barrow which continued in use into the
Bronze Age. Although one area of the barrow has been excavated, further
archaeological remains survive in the extensive unexcavated areas and on the
old land surface beneath the barrow.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Barnatt, J, The Peak District Barrow Survey (1989), (1989)
Barnatt, J, The Peak District Barrow Survey (1989), (1989)
Marsden, B M, The Burial Mounds of Derbyshire , (1977), 85
Pennington, R, The Barrows and Bone Caves of Derbyshire, (1877), 25-6

Source: Historic England

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