Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Bowl barrow east of Arbor Low

A Scheduled Monument in Monyash, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.1686 / 53°10'6"N

Longitude: -1.7604 / 1°45'37"W

OS Eastings: 416112.703362

OS Northings: 363519.973479

OS Grid: SK161635

Mapcode National: GBR 46X.CQV

Mapcode Global: WHCDC.XMW8

Entry Name: Bowl barrow east of Arbor Low

Scheduled Date: 15 April 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011089

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12503

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Monyash

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Youlgreave All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Derby


The monument is a roughly circular bowl barrow situated 30m east of the henge
at Arbor Low in the central uplands of the limestone plateau of Derbyshire. It
includes a mound with a diameter of 11.5m by 10.5m and a height of c.0.75m. A
partial excavation was carried out by Thomas Bateman in 1844 when a corroded
piece of iron was found in a rock cut grave and interpreted as a spear socket.
The item indicates the use of the barrow in the Romano-British or Anglian
periods but it has not been confirmed that the barrow was built at this time.
Its close proximity to Arbor Low henge and stone circle, and to other
Prehistoric barrows, suggests it may have originated in 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

Superficially similar in form to prehistoric bowl barrows are hlaews of Anglo-
Saxon or Viking date. These burial monuments were constructed during the pagan
Saxon and Viking periods, for high-ranking individuals, and are much rarer
than prehistoric bowl barrows, with only 50 to 60 recognised examples in the
country. They served as visible and ostentatious markers of the social
position of the people buried within them and some appear to have been
specifically located to mark territorial boundaries.
The barrow east of Arbor Low is a reasonably well-preserved example of either
a hlaew or a bowl barrow which, although it has been partially excavated,
retains significant archaeological remains which include evidence of the
barrow's origins. It is most likely to have originated as a bowl barrow and is
located in a rich and varied prehistoric landscape.

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)
Barnatt, J, 'Sheffield Arch. Monograph 1' in The Henges, Stone Circles and Ringcairns of the Peak District, (1990)

Source: Historic England

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