Skip to main content


Please read our .

Authority English Heritage
Other Ref SM Cat. No. 97
Date assigned Friday, October 9, 1981
Date last amended Thursday, February 4, 1993


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. DETAILS Although some 45 square metres of Tides Low bowl barrow have been disturbed by excavation and stone-robbing, they represent only 4% of the total area of 1134 square metres. Despite the monument's mutilated appearance, the greater part of the barrow survives intact and retains substantial archaeological remains preserving the relationship between the Late Neolithic barrow and the earlier Neolithic standing stone. Further limestone cists containing burial remains from all phases are expected to survive. Tides Low is situated in the north-western uplands of the limestone plateau of Derbyshire. The monument includes a large Late Neolithic bowl barrow, an earlier Neolithic standing stone which became incorporated into the barrow when the latter was constructed, and the site of a small limekiln which was built on the barrow in the nineteenth century. The barrow is a sub-circular mound now measuring 38m by 33.5m and surviving to a height of c.2m. Its present mutilated appearance is due to excavations carried out in 1947 and 1968-9 and also to stone-robbing carried out in the early nineteenth century in order to feed the limekiln and supply wall-stone for nearby drystone walls. Ebenezer Rhodes, writing in 1828, tells us that the barrow was `composed of a series of narrow caverns, formed with stones and earth, in which several skulls and many human bones were found.' There is no other record of these remains and it is assumed that they were further disrupted by subsequent nineteenth century activities. In 1947, local farmer J E Critchlow carried out a partial excavation of the barrow and discovered a late Roman coin from a secondary insertion, a flint knife and a trapezoidal limestone cist with its capstone. The cist measured 2.1m by between 1m and 1.5m and contained the disarticulated remains of part of a human skeleton. Critchlow also uncovered a large standing stone whose presence indicated ritual use of the site before the barrow was constructed. Also in 1947, the cist was re-excavated by Messrs Jackson, Robinson and Salt of Buxton Museum and further remains were found. In addition to a number of ox teeth and small pieces of flint, human teeth and phalanges were recovered along with parts of two skulls and two lower jaws. From this it was deduced that the cist had contained three bodies and that the skeleton represented the latest to be interred. This and further evidence of multi-period burials in other parts of the barrow has led to the theory that a cemetery of free-standing cists and a standing stone existed before the barrow was raised over Them. This, however, has yet to be confirmed. In 1968 and 1969, the site of the 1947 excavation was reinvestigated under the direction of J Radley and M Plant. The area between the cist and the standing stone was found to contain a pavement consisting in part of limestone pavings and elsewhere of stony gravel. To the south of the cist, all traces of the pavement and the yellow clay on which it was bedded had been removed by earlier disturbance, but it was found to extend to the north of the cist where the pavement was partially sunk into the old land surface and the yellow clay contained a number of struck chert flakes and fragments of animal and human bones. The yellow clay and pavement were also traced eastwards to the present edge of the barrow. Two uprights set into the clay indicate the position of a second disturbed cist. In addition to scattered human remains, groups of better preserved bones were found in the same area and represent three individuals, one of which, buried to the east of the second cist, was set in a shallow grave cut into both the clay and the old land surface and edged with stones. The pavement also extended to the west of the first cist where a third cist was found erected on the old land surface. No burial remains were recovered but a flint scraper was found between two of the paving stones. This cist was six-sided, measured 2.25m by 1.5m and had been partially robbed of its stone. It was paved inside and a single upright stone indicated the location of a possible extension. A large number of broken human bones were found grouped outside it and are believed to have been removed from it prior to the construction of the mound. To the west and c.1m higher in the mound was found a perforated boar's tusk. Boar's tusks are often found in Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age barrows, but perforated examples are rare. To the north of the third cist, the remains of a drystone wall were recovered. Coal found beneath this wall indicates that it is of probable nineteenth century origin and to be associated with the limekiln. The limekiln was of the simplest type known locally as a `pudding kiln' or `pudding-pie'. This form consisted of a hollow which was layered with kindling, limestone and coal, covered with earth and turves and fired through a ventilation tunnel let into the side. When burning was complete, the top was broken open and the quicklime raked out to be used on the fields or for lining ponds. Such small kilns as these were usually constructed by the farmer requiring the lime and were quite often used only once. At Tides Low, coal and ash were found during excavation and the sub-circular form of the barrow is due in part to the east side of the mound being quarried for lime-burning. The old land surface that lies beneath the quarried side of the barrow still survives and so is included in the scheduling. In the twentieth century, the remains of the kiln were adapted for use as a hen-hut of which no trace now remains. Excluded from the scheduling is the drystone wall crossing the north-west edge of the monument, although the ground underneath the wall is included. SELECTED SOURCES Book Reference - Author: Barnatt, J - Title: The Peak District Barrow Survey (1989) - Date: 1989 - Type: DESC TEXT Book Reference - Author: Barnatt, J - Title: The Peak District Barrow Survey (1989) - Date: 1989 - Type: PLAN: MEASURED Book Reference - Author: Marsden B - Title: The Burial Mounds of Derbyshire (1977) - Date: 1977 - Type: DESC TEXT Book Reference - Author: Rhodes E - Title: Peak Scenery - Date: 1828 - Volume: 1 - Page References: 98 - Type: DESC TEXT Article Reference - Author: Radley J and Plant M - Title: Tideslow: a Neolithic round barrow at Tideswell - Date: 1971 - Journal Title: Derbyshire Archaeological Journal - Volume: 91 - Page References: 20-31 - Type: EXCAVATION REPORT - Description: With plans and sections

External Links (0)

Sources (1)

  • Scheduling record: English Heritage. 1981. Scheduling Notification: Tides Low bowl barrow, limekiln and standing stone. List entry no. 1008819. SM Cat. No. 97.



Grid reference Centred SK 1499 7794 (42m by 42m)
Map sheet SK17NW

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Record last edited

Sep 4 2013 2:30PM

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.