Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Pea Low bowl barrow

A Scheduled Monument in Alstonefield, Staffordshire

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Latitude: 53.1051 / 53°6'18"N

Longitude: -1.806 / 1°48'21"W

OS Eastings: 413083.818585

OS Northings: 356455.2116

OS Grid: SK130564

Mapcode National: GBR 47N.67C

Mapcode Global: WHCDR.767W

Entry Name: Pea Low bowl barrow

Scheduled Date: 12 November 1962

Last Amended: 7 August 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009603

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13530

County: Staffordshire

Civil Parish: Alstonefield

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Staffordshire

Church of England Parish: Alstonfield St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield


The monument includes Pea Low bowl barrow located on the crest of a ridge with
higher ground to the northwest. It survives as an impressively large oval
mound up to 3.5m high with maximum dimensions of 45.5m by 38m. A series of
quarry pits measuring up to 20m diameter by 0.5m deep, and dug for
construction of the mound, are visible on all sides except the south-east.
The mound displays areas of disturbance, notably a stony hollow on it's
southwestern side measuring 13m by 6m and 1.5m deep that is considered to have
been the site of a former limekiln, and a shallow area of exposed rubble on
the southeastern side that is the site of antiquarian investigations. These
limited investigations revealed evidence of the barrow having been re-used
during Roman times. Inhumations, cremations, faunal remains, flint, iron
artefacts and Roman coins were all recovered during the course of these
All fences and drystone walls are excluded from the scheduling. The ground
beneath these features, however, is included.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 20 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's southeastern side
and modern disturbance to the southwestern side, Pea Low bowl barrow survives
well and remains a visually impressive feature in the landscape. Not only
does the monument stand out from other bowl barrows in the region because of
its large size and associated quarry pits, it also bears typological
similarities to known Neolithic barrows in the Peak District. Unusually for
the region this barrow exhibits re-use during Roman times.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Barnatt, J, The Peak District Barrow Survey (1989), (1989)
Bateman, , Ten Years Digging (1861), (1861), 121
Bateman, , Ten Years Digging (1861), (1861), 125
Bateman, T, Vestiges of the Antiquities of Derbyshire, (1849), 76
Barnatt, J (Site surveyor), (1990)
Bateman, Desc & Obs Further Discoveries in the Barrows of Derbyshire,
Bateman, Desc & Obs Further Discoveries in the Barrows of Derbyshire,
Carrington, Barrow Diggers (Unpub MS), Derby Local History Library MS 9541
Carrington, Barrow Diggers (Unpub MS), Derby Local History Library MS 9541
Carrington, Barrow Diggers (Unpub MS), Derby Local History Library MS 9541
Carrington, Barrow Diggers (Unpub MS), Derby Local History Library MS 9541

Source: Historic England

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