Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Top Low bowl barrow

A Scheduled Monument in Blore with Swinscoe, Staffordshire

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Latitude: 53.0394 / 53°2'21"N

Longitude: -1.8081 / 1°48'29"W

OS Eastings: 412964.631565

OS Northings: 349143.553695

OS Grid: SK129491

Mapcode National: GBR 48D.KP5

Mapcode Global: WHCDY.6V8S

Entry Name: Top Low bowl barrow

Scheduled Date: 1 November 1966

Last Amended: 7 August 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009654

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13576

County: Staffordshire

Civil Parish: Blore with Swinscoe

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Staffordshire

Church of England Parish: Blore Ray with Okeover

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield


The monument includes Top Low bowl barrow located at the north-east end of a
broad ridge-top plateau with land sloping steeply down to the north and east.
It survives as a slightly mutilated oval mound of stone and earth up to 1m
high with maximum dimensions of 22m by 20m. A shallow central pit measuring
5m by 2m and 0.2m deep is a legacy of past investigation of the barrow. A
second, smaller, shallow pit of the same origin lies towards the southern end
of the barrow's centre. This limited antiquarian investigation of the barrow
located a variety of archaeological remains including 2 rock-cut graves, 2
cists, 6 inhumations, an animal inhumation, a cremation, pottery, artefacts of
bronze, flint and bone, antler tine and a human skull. Further limited
excavation occurred in 1927 when Pape re-dug some of the previously
investigated area and located disturbed inhumations, flints, pottery and
fragments of a polished axe.

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 minor plough damage to the barrow's edges and limited 19th and 20th
century investigation at the centre of the mound, Top Low bowl barrow survives
reasonably well. These investigations located human and faunal remains and
artifacts, and 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), 133
Pape, , 'Trans North Staffordshire Field Club' in Trans North Staffordshire Field Club (1930), (1930), 89-96
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 Description - Bowl Barrows, (1988)

Source: Historic England

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