Ancient Monuments

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Bowl barrow on Narrowdale Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Alstonefield, Staffordshire

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Latitude: 53.1124 / 53°6'44"N

Longitude: -1.8171 / 1°49'1"W

OS Eastings: 412339.00082

OS Northings: 357257.670107

OS Grid: SK123572

Mapcode National: GBR 47F.WZ7

Mapcode Global: WHCDR.11Z9

Entry Name: Bowl barrow on Narrowdale Hill

Scheduled Date: 1 November 1966

Last Amended: 14 January 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008717

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13526

County: Staffordshire

Civil Parish: Alstonefield

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Staffordshire

Church of England Parish: Alstonfield St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield


The monument includes a bowl barrow located on the summit of Narrowdale Hill.
It survives as a slightly oval mound up to 1.3m high with maximum dimensions
of 11m by 10m. Limited excavation at the centre of the monument during the
19th century located the primary burial placed within a rock-cut grave with a
capstone. The grave contained a cremation, urn and a burnt flint. On top of
the capstone was a secondary burial comprising an urn inverted over a
cremation together with a flint. Another burial, probably inserted into the
barrow at a later date and situated close to the surface on the south-east
side of the barrow's summit, consisted of a small cist of four flat limestone
slabs set on edge with another slab for the floor. The cist contained a
cremation covered with an urn together with flint, bone and antler artefacts.
Unburnt human bones were also exposed during the excavation.

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

Despite limited antiquarian investigation of the centre of the monument the
bowl barrow on Narrowdale Hill survives well. This investigation demonstrated
that the barrow had been used more than once, with secondary burials being
added after the primary one had been interred. Further evidence of the
burials placed in the barrow will survive in unexcavated areas of the mound.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Barnatt, J, The Peak District Barrow Survey (1989), (1989)
Bateman, T, Vestiges of the Antiquities of Derbyshire, (1849)
Darvill, T, MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Bowl Barrows (1988), (1988)
Snowdon, C.A., AM 107, (1988)

Source: Historic England

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