Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow on Mere Hill

A Scheduled Monument in Waterhouses, Staffordshire

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Latitude: 53.0705 / 53°4'13"N

Longitude: -1.8442 / 1°50'39"W

OS Eastings: 410533.210315

OS Northings: 352594.257294

OS Grid: SK105525

Mapcode National: GBR 36N.GK3

Mapcode Global: WHCDX.N20X

Entry Name: Bowl barrow on Mere Hill

Scheduled Date: 21 September 1970

Last Amended: 27 November 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008961

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22403

County: Staffordshire

Civil Parish: Waterhouses

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Staffordshire

Church of England Parish: Calton St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield


The monument includes a bowl barrow located at the northern end of the summit
ridge of Mere Hill. It survives as oval earthen mound up to 2.5m high with
maximum dimensions of 22.5m by 17m. A drystone wall crosses the barrow from
the west and turns to the south at the crest. Limited antiquarian excavation
of the mound located a rock-cut grave in the south-west quadrant containing
two contracted inhumations and a flint. A cist of flat stones placed on end
was found under and north of the western arm of the drystone wall. This cist
contained two inhumations, one of which was a child, an animal cremation and a
bronze knife. Other finds from elsewhere in the mound include two cremations,
two inhumations, human and animal bones, flints, pottery, lead, red ochre and
a bone pin. The drystone wall is excluded from the scheduling but the ground
beneath it 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

Despite limited antiquarian investigation of the monument, the bowl barrow on
Mere Hill survives well. This investigation located human and faunal remains
together with pottery and artefacts of bronze, flint, and bone. Further
evidence of interments and grave goods will exist within the mound and upon
the old landsurface.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Barnatt, J, The Peak District Barrow Survey (1989), (1989)
Bateman, , Ten Years Digging (1861), (1861)
Bateman, Desc & Obs Further Discoveries in the Barrows of Derbyshire,
Bateman, Illustrations of Antiquity (Unpub volume of drawings), Sheffield City Museum
Carrington, Barrow Diggers (Unpub MS with letters and notes), 1848,
Darvill, T, MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Bowl Barrows (1988), (1988)

Source: Historic England

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