Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Little Painley bowl barrow

A Scheduled Monument in Gisburn, Lancashire

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Latitude: 53.9469 / 53°56'48"N

Longitude: -2.2629 / 2°15'46"W

OS Eastings: 382842.942777

OS Northings: 450124.761561

OS Grid: SD828501

Mapcode National: GBR DQMS.WW

Mapcode Global: WHB7B.62P1

Entry Name: Little Painley bowl barrow

Scheduled Date: 1 January 1971

Last Amended: 9 August 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009494

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23746

County: Lancashire

Civil Parish: Gisburn

Traditional County: Yorkshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Lancashire

Church of England Parish: Gisburn St Mary the Virgin

Church of England Diocese: Blackburn


The monument includes Little Painley bowl barrow located on a local high point
to the east of the River Ribble. It includes a circular earth and stone mound
measuring c.20m in diameter and up to 0.5m high which is surrounded by a ditch
2.5m wide and 0.5m deep. Flanking this ditch, particularly on the south
western side, are traces of an outer bank measuring 2.5m wide by 0.3m high.
Limited antiquarian investigation of the barrow located a cremation urn.
All post and wire fences are excluded from the scheduling but the ground
beneath these features 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 and a covering of
mature trees planted during the 1960s, Little Painley bowl barrow survives
reasonably well. This investigation located a cremation urn, and further
evidence of interments and grave goods will exist within the mound and upon
the old landsurface beneath.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Whittaker, , History of Craven, (1878)
FMW Report, Capstick, B, Little Painley Round Barrow, (1993)
SMR No. 330, Lancs SMR, Little Painley, near Castle Hough, (1993)

Source: Historic England

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