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Scheduled Monument: BOWL BARROW EAST OF ARBOR LOW (1011089)

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Authority English Heritage
Other Ref SM Cat. No. 342
Date assigned Friday, April 15, 1994
Date last amended


REASONS FOR DESIGNATION 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 protection. 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. DETAILS 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 Anglianperiods 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. SELECTED SOURCES Book Reference - Author: Barnatt, J. - Title: The Peak District Barrow Survey - Type: DESC TEXT Book Reference - Author: Barnatt, J. - Title: The Peak District Barrow Survey - Type: PLAN: MEASURED Book Reference - Author: Barnatt, John - Title: The Henges, Stone Circles and Ringcairns of the Peak District - Type: DESC TEXT Book Reference - Author: Bateman - Title: Vestiges of the Antiquities of Derbyshire - Type: DESC TEXT

External Links (1)

Sources (1)

  • Scheduling record: English Heritage. 1994. Scheduling notification: Bowl Barrow east of Arbor Low. List entry no. 1011089. SM Cat. No. 342.



Grid reference Centred SK 1611 6352 (18m by 18m)
Map sheet SK16SE

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Record last edited

Aug 1 2013 4:18PM

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