Ancient Monuments

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Cow Low bowl barrow (Tunstead Quarry)

A Scheduled Monument in Green Fairfield, Derbyshire

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Latitude: 53.2537 / 53°15'13"N

Longitude: -1.8475 / 1°50'50"W

OS Eastings: 410273.918882

OS Northings: 372976.373595

OS Grid: SK102729

Mapcode National: GBR HZJT.TC

Mapcode Global: WHCCY.LGGZ

Entry Name: Cow Low bowl barrow (Tunstead Quarry)

Scheduled Date: 14 December 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1017541

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13349

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Green Fairfield

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Fairfield St Peter

Church of England Diocese: Derby


Cow Low bowl barrow (Tunstead Quarry) is a sub-circular barrow situated north
of Wye Dale on the limestone plateau of Derbyshire. The monument includes a
mound measuring 29m by 25m and standing 1.7m high. This has been slightly
disturbed on the northern and south-eastern edges by quarrying and has a small
hollow in the top believed to have resulted from a minor excavation carried
out prior to 1811 when human bones and `ancient implements' were found. The
barrow is also the site of important finds made during a partial excavation by
Thomas Bateman in 1846. These included a primary crouched female skeleton
covered by a large flat stone and lying on a layer of burnt bones containing
horse teeth, part of a dog's skull and a bone pin. Above the skeleton were
found the jumbled bones of five more interments and, above those, a small cist
containing a crouched female skeleton with two jet necklaces. Above this two
more crouched skeletons were found, one on top of the other, inside a
hexagonal cist, the lower accompanied by a food vessel. A scattered cremation
lay above this cist and an intrusive Anglian burial, dating to c.AD700, was
found near to the surface. The earlier remains indicate that the barrow dates
to the Bronze Age and had an extended period of use throughout that period.
Accompanying the Anglian inhumation were a glass vessel, a pin and chain, a
blue glass bead and a silver necklace, a hinged wooden box and other
implements including a comb and fragments of iron. The barrow also lies
within a relict landscape which includes Romano-British field boundaries and
settlement sites. Excluded from the scheduling are the drystone walls
crossing the monument but the ground underneath 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

Although disturbed by excavation, much of Cow Low bowl barrow (Tunstead
Quarry) remains intact and retains significant intact archaeological remains.

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), 91-95
Jewitt, A, History of Buxton, (1811), 81
Marsden, B M, The Burial Mounds of Derbyshire , (1977), 41-2
Meaney, A L S, Gazetteer of Early Anglo-Saxon Burial Sites, (1964), 74-5
Fowler, M J, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Anglian Settlement of the Peak, , Vol. 74, (1954), 134-151
Fowler, M J, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in The Transition From Late Neolithic To Early Br A In The PK Dist., , Vol. 74, (1954)
Manby, T G, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Food Vessels of the Peak District (1957), , Vol. 77, (1957), 1-29

Source: Historic England

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