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Tides Low bowl barrow, limekiln and standing stone

A Scheduled Monument in Tideswell, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.2983 / 53°17'53"N

Longitude: -1.7765 / 1°46'35"W

OS Eastings: 414990.896

OS Northings: 377946.411536

OS Grid: SK149779

Mapcode National: GBR JZ19.5C

Mapcode Global: WHCCS.PC7B

Entry Name: Tides Low bowl barrow, limekiln and standing stone

Scheduled Date: 9 October 1981

Last Amended: 4 February 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008819

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13386

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Tideswell

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Tideswell St John the Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Derby


Tides Low is situated in the north-western uplands of the limestone plateau of
Derbyshire. The monument includes a large Late Neolithic bowl barrow, an
earlier Neolithic standing stone which became incorporated into the barrow
when the latter was constructed, and the site of a small limekiln which was
built on the barrow in the nineteenth century.
The barrow is a sub-circular mound now measuring 38m by 33.5m and surviving to
a height of c.2m. Its present mutilated appearance is due to excavations
carried out in 1947 and 1968-9 and also to stone-robbing carried out in the
early nineteenth century in order to feed the limekiln and supply wall-stone
for nearby drystone walls. Ebenezer Rhodes, writing in 1828, tells us that
the barrow was `composed of a series of narrow caverns, formed with stones and
earth, in which several skulls and many human bones were found.' There is no
other record of these remains and it is assumed that they were further
disrupted by subsequent nineteenth century activities. In 1947, local farmer
J E Critchlow carried out a partial excavation of the barrow and discovered a
late Roman coin from a secondary insertion, a flint knife and a trapezoidal
limestone cist with its capstone. The cist measured 2.1m by between 1m and
1.5m and contained the disarticulated remains of part of a human skeleton.
Critchlow also uncovered a large standing stone whose presence indicated
ritual use of the site before the barrow was constructed. Also in 1947, the
cist was re-excavated by Messrs Jackson, Robinson and Salt of Buxton Museum
and further remains were found. In addition to a number of ox teeth and
small pieces of flint, human teeth and phalanges were recovered along with
parts of two skulls and two lower jaws. From this it was deduced that the
cist had contained three bodies and that the skeleton represented the latest
to be interred. This and further evidence of multi-period burials in other
parts of the barrow has led to the theory that a cemetery of free-standing
cists and a standing stone existed before the barrow was raised over them.
This, however, has yet to be confirmed.
In 1968 and 1969, the site of the 1947 excavation was reinvestigated under the
direction of J Radley and M Plant. The area between the cist and the
standing stone was found to contain a pavement consisting in part of limestone
pavings and elsewhere of stony gravel. To the south of the cist, all traces
of the pavement and the yellow clay on which it was bedded had been removed by
earlier disturbance, but it was found to extend to the north of the cist where
the pavement was partially sunk into the old land surface and the yellow clay
contained a number of struck chert flakes and fragments of animal and human
bones. The yellow clay and pavement were also traced eastwards to the present
edge of the barrow. Two uprights set into the clay indicate the position of a
second disturbed cist. In addition to scattered human remains, groups of
better preserved bones were found in the same area and represent three
individuals, one of which, buried to the east of the second cist, was set in a
shallow grave cut into both the clay and the old land surface and edged with
stones. The pavement also extended to the west of the first cist where a
third cist was found erected on the old land surface. No burial remains were
recovered but a flint scraper was found between two of the paving stones.
This cist was six-sided, measured 2.25m by 1.5m and had been partially robbed
of its stone. It was paved inside and a single upright stone indicated the
location of a possible extension. A large number of broken human bones were
found grouped outside it and are believed to have been removed from it prior
to the construction of the mound. To the west and c.1m higher in the mound
was found a perforated boar's tusk. Boar's tusks are often found in Late
Neolithic and Early Bronze Age barrows, but perforated examples are rare.
To the north of the third cist, the remains of a drystone wall were recovered.
Coal found beneath this wall indicates that it is of probable nineteenth
century origin and to be associated with the limekiln. The limekiln was of
the simplest type known locally as a `pudding kiln' or `pudding-pie'. This
form consisted of a hollow which was layered with kindling, limestone and
coal, covered with earth and turves and fired through a ventilation tunnel let
into the side. When burning was complete, the top was broken open and the
quicklime raked out to be used on the fields or for lining ponds. Such small
kilns as these were usually constructed by the farmer requiring the lime and
were quite often used only once. At Tides Low, coal and ash were found during
excavation and the sub-circular form of the barrow is due in part to the east
side of the mound being quarried for lime-burning. The old land surface that
lies beneath the quarried side of the barrow still survives and so is included
in the scheduling. In the twentieth century, the remains of the kiln were
adapted for use as a hen-hut of which no trace now remains.
Excluded from the scheduling is the drystone wall crossing the north-west edge
of the monument, although the ground underneath the wall 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 some 45 square metres of Tides Low bowl barrow have been
disturbed by excavation and stone-robbing, they represent only 4% of the
total area of 1134 square metres. Despite the monument's mutilated
appearance, the greater part of the barrow survives intact and retains
substantial archaeological remains preserving the relationship between the
Late Neolithic barrow and the earlier Neolithic standing stone. Further
limestone cists containing burial remains from all phases are expected to

Source: Historic England


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)
Rhodes, E, Peak Scenery, (1828), 98
Radley, J, Plant, M, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Tideslow: a Neolithic round barrow at Tideswell, , Vol. 91, (1971), 20-31

Source: Historic England

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