Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Cow Low bowl barrow

A Scheduled Monument in Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.3049 / 53°18'17"N

Longitude: -1.9033 / 1°54'12"W

OS Eastings: 406537.162226

OS Northings: 378664.965089

OS Grid: SK065786

Mapcode National: GBR HZ47.Q0

Mapcode Global: WHBBL.Q6V7

Entry Name: Cow Low bowl barrow

Scheduled Date: 21 September 1954

Last Amended: 4 January 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008998

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13344

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Chapel-en-le-Frith

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Chapel-en-le-Frith St Thomas a Becket

Church of England Diocese: Derby


Cow Low bowl barrow is a sub-circular cairn situated on the eastern edge of
Combs Moss in a hilltop location in the western gritstone moorlands of
Derbyshire. The monument includes a mound measuring 23m by 20m which survives
to a height of c.0.6m. Originally the mound would have been somewhat higher,
but the surface of the cairn has been disturbed in the past by stone robbing;
probably for walling at the time of the Enclosures Acts. The barrow may also
have been partially excavated by Thomas Bateman in the mid-nineteenth century
when a barrow near Buxton, known as Cow Low, was found to contain a hexagonal
cist containing two skeletons and a food vessel. In addition to these
remains, the overall appearance and location of the barrow and its proximity
to other monuments of the period, indicate that it dates to the Bronze Age.

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 partially disturbed by stone-robbing, Cow Low bowl barrow is a
reasonably well preserved exampIe containing significant intact archaeological

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Barnatt, J, The Peak District Barrow Survey (1989), (1989)
Barnatt, J, The Peak District Barrow Survey (1989), (1989)
Bateman, T, Vestiges of the Antiquities of Derbyshire, (1849), 93
Marsden, B M, The Burial Mounds of Derbyshire , (1977), 27
Manby, T G, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Food Vessels of the Peak District (1957), , Vol. 77, (1957), 1-29

Source: Historic England

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