Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow on summit of Musden Low

A Scheduled Monument in Blore with Swinscoe, Staffordshire

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Latitude: 53.0478 / 53°2'52"N

Longitude: -1.8248 / 1°49'29"W

OS Eastings: 411840.525289

OS Northings: 350077.206239

OS Grid: SK118500

Mapcode National: GBR 486.TQR

Mapcode Global: WHCDX.YN6B

Entry Name: Bowl barrow on summit of Musden Low

Scheduled Date: 17 January 1966

Last Amended: 18 September 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1010383

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13550

County: Staffordshire

Civil Parish: Blore with Swinscoe

Traditional County: Staffordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Staffordshire

Church of England Parish: Croxden with Hollington St Giles

Church of England Diocese: Lichfield


The monument includes a bowl barrow located on the summit of Musden Low. It
survives as a sub-circular flat-topped mound up to 1.5m high. Part of the
southeastern side of the mound has been removed by quarrying leaving the
surviving portion of the barrow measuring 30m northeast-southwest by 16m
northwest-southeast. The centre of the barrow contains a low mound 3.5m
diameter by 0.3m high and surrounded by a shallow ditch that was the site of a
triangulation pillar. This pillar has now been relocated adjacent to the
north western side of the barrow. Limited antiquarian investigations at the
monument's centre located an inhumation, a cremation, a cist containing a
cremation, human bones, fused lead, flint artefacts, and pottery sherds
ranging in date from Prehistoric to Romano-British.
The triangulation pillar is excluded from the scheduling but the ground
beneath it 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 partial loss of the monument due to quarrying and limited antiquarian
investigations at the barrow's centre, the bowl barrow on Musden Hill survives
relatively well. These investigations located human remains, flint artefacts
and pottery, and further similar evidence of interments and grave goods will
exist within the mound and upon the old landsurface. Additionally, the
monument is a rare example in the Peak District of a barrow displaying re-use
during Romano-British times.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Barnatt, J, The Peak District Barrow Survey (1989), (1989)
Bateman, , Ten Years Digging (1861), (1861), 151
Bateman, , Ten Years Digging (1861), (1861), 118
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,
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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