Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Ilamtops Low bowl barrow

A Scheduled Monument in Ilam, Staffordshire

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Latitude: 53.071 / 53°4'15"N

Longitude: -1.7987 / 1°47'55"W

OS Eastings: 413583.029023

OS Northings: 352662.884691

OS Grid: SK135526

Mapcode National: GBR 481.G2N

Mapcode Global: WHCDY.B2QH

Entry Name: Ilamtops Low bowl barrow

Scheduled Date: 12 November 1962

Last Amended: 23 November 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008971

English Heritage Legacy ID: 22413

County: Staffordshire

Civil Parish: Ilam

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Staffordshire

Church of England Parish: Ilam

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield


The monument includes Ilamtops Low bowl barrow located on the crest of a
prominent hill 150m south-east of Hill Top Farm. It survives as an oval earth
and stone mound mutilated on its southern side by quarrying and measuring up
to 2.7m high with maximum dimensions of 28m by 21m. Limited antiquarian
investigation at the centre of the mound located a rock cut grave containing a
fill of stones amongst which were a child's skull and scattered bones of an
adult. At the base of the grave was a layer of charcoal, an oak timber and an
ox skull. Elsewhere in the grave were the remains of two urns, a bronze awl,
bones of deer and dog, and a few flints.
The drystone wall on the barrow's north-east side is excluded from the
scheduling, but the ground beneath 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 slight mutilation of the monument and limited antiquarian
investigation, Ilamtops Low bowl barrow survives well. This investigation
located human and faunal remains together with pottery and artefacts of bronze
and flint. 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, T, Vestiges of the Antiquities of Derbyshire, (1849)
Darvill, T, MPP Single Monument Class Descriptions - Bowl Barrows (1988), (1988)

Source: Historic England

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