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Monument record MDR1107 - Boars Low barrow, Tissington

Type and Period (4)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

(SK 16935259) Rose Low (Tumulus). (1,3). Bose Low. (2). Barrow variously known in the 19th century as Bowers Low, Boars Low or Boslow. Situated at the angle where the high road to Tissington branches off from the turnpike road from Buxton to Ashbourne. At the time of its excavation in 1863-1864 the site was thickly planted with trees. The barrow was first opened by Lucas on 15th September 1863. Four feet from the surface, a heap of burnt human bones were found. Continuing excavations towards the centre, fragments of an interment were found which had been closer to the surface and therefore mostly destroyed. Close to the centre of the mound the central boss of an Anglo-Saxon shield was found, with traces of textile visible on parts of its surface. It was surrounded by decayed wood and fragments of corroded iron, presumably the remains of the shield. A sword was also uncovered, thought originally to have been enclosed in a wooden scabbard covered with leather and mounted with silver. Further excavation uncovered the primary burial some 18 inches below the secondary Anglo-Saxon burial. The primary burial was of a mature male, in a crouched position. No pottery or other artefacts were found with this burial. (4). A large tumulus, tree covered but in excellent condition attaining a height of 2.7m, the mound is truncated but elsewhere shows only slight evidence of the early excavations. Resurveyed at 1:2500. (7). (SK 16935259) Tumulus. (8). Pevsner records Boar's Low as a large cairn, with a diameter of 0.25m which contains a crouched inhumation and a cremation. He also notes that an Anglo-Saxon secondary burial was present. (9). Bowers (or Boar's or Bos) Low is listed in surveys as a large, tree-planted cairn with a primary crouched skeleton, an associated cremation and an intrusive Anglian skeleton. (10-12). This large bowl barrow is covered with mature trees. It utilises a natural knoll. The barrow proper appears to be 1.2m high from the north-west, 2m from the north-east and 2.8m from the south-east. An irregular centre is probably the result of Lucas' excavations which have been poorly backfilled. Lucas states that the barrow sides have been extensively removed but this is probably in error as they have a steep but regular profile. The acquisition of stone for road building was probably restricted to the rest of this ground which is extensively cratered by shallow quarrying. A drystone wall to the south overlies the barrow edge. The site has been planted with trees since at least c.1830 (OS map) and this may well have inhibited antiquarian activities other than the small trench by Lucas. (14). Scheduled. Boars Low bowl barrow, also known as Bowers Low or Rose Low, is a roughly circular cairn in an unusual low-lying location in the south-western ridges of the limestone plateau of Derbyshire. The monument includes a large, well-preserved mound measuring 25m by 24m and standing at a height of c.3m. This was partially excavated by Lucas in the 1860s and found to contain a contracted inhumation and a cremation burial, both of which indicate a Bronze Age date for the barrow. A later Anglian burial was also found, indicating the re-use of the barrow in the early medieval period. (15). Site monitoring has been carried out: see record for details. (16)

Sources/Archives (16)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1955. 6".
  • <2> Map: 1880. OS 25".
  • <3> Map: 1899. OS 25".
  • <4> Article in serial: Lucas, J F. 1864-5. 'Notice of the opening of a Celtic & Anglo-Saxon grave-mound at Tissington, Derbyshire', The Reliquary. Volume 5, pp 165-9.
  • <5> Article in serial: Evison, V. 1963. Antiquaries Journal Volume 43 1963. Volume 43. p 48, 52, 66.
  • <6> Bibliographic reference: Bateman, T. 1861. Ten Years' Diggings in Celtic and Saxon Grave Hills. p 290.
  • <7> Personal Observation: F1 JB 20-MAY-66.
  • <8> Map: OS 1:10 000 1978.
  • <9> Bibliographic reference: Pevsner, N. 1979. The Buildings of England: Derbyshire. 2nd ed., revised. p 345.
  • <10> Article in serial: Fowler, M. 1954. 'The Anglian Settlement of the Derbyshire-Staffordshire Peak District', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 74, pp 134-151. p 149.
  • <11> Bibliographic reference: Meaney, A. 1964. A Gazetteer of Early Anglo-Saxon Burial Sites. p 73.
  • <12> Bibliographic reference: Marsden, B. 1977. The Burial Mounds of Derbyshire. p 97.
  • <13> Index: NDAT. 1933. 1933. 1933.
  • <14> Unpublished document: Barnatt, J. 1989. The Peak District Barrow Survey (updated 1994). Site 9:11.
  • <15> Scheduling record: English Heritage. 1993. Scheduling description: Boars Low bowl barrow. 13321. 179.
  • <16> Unpublished document: Gregory, R (PDNPA). Scheduled Monument Monitoring Form: Boars Low Bowl Barrow.



Grid reference Centred SK 1692 5258 (24m by 21m) (Centre)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (4)

  • EDR3147
  • EDR3148
  • EDR3149
  • EDR1267

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Record last edited

Nov 6 2014 11:29AM

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