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Monument record MDR117 - Round barrow (site of), (3 of 4), Hindlow, Hartington Upper Quarter

Type and Period (3)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

'On the 15th of May 1845, four barrows, situated at short distances from each other, upon a tract of land denominated Hind Lowe … were examined. …The third barrow is about fifteen yards in diameter and four feet in height, and is formed of loose stones, with a slight admixture of soil. A cutting was made through the centre, without the effect of discovering the primary interment. Probably the labourers (being left to themselves) were not sufficiently careful in their researches, and overlooked it. On this account, nothing of the slightest interest occurred, all that was found being the bones of two human skeletons, animal bones, and the remains of rats, in a confused heap just beneath the turf'. (1) [For the other three barrows, see SMR 7117, 7118 and 7120] (1). A low barrow on the steep north-eastern slopes at Hindlow was threatened by limestone quarrying and was excavated by the Ministry of Works in 1953. (2). The cairn at SK 08376905 was surrounded by a massive limestone kerb and contained two ?primary crouched skeletons to the south east with two flint scrapers and beaker type pottery fragments with corded decoration. By the feet of one skeleton a contemporary cremation with a bronze awl and corded ware rim sherd was found. Two areas of scattered bones in the west of the mound represented six individuals, probably disarticulated by the movement of the mound. See illustration. (3). This cairn has been levelled [in 1966] but a circular bank of excavation spoil marks the site. Published surveys, (25") revised. (4). The cairn has now [in 1971] been completely destroyed. (5). A full report of the 1953 excavations was published in 1981. The 1845 excavations, which had been backfilled, could be easily identified. Bateman's men were found to have driven a trench from the north-eastern side of the cairn towards the middle. At the centre the trench widened into a roughly rectangular pit which penetrated no more than four or five inches into the ancient soil. The skeletons found by Bateman had been placed in the bottom of the central cutting before it was infilled, albeit without their skulls, and were found to represent a child and three adults (two males and a female). The 1953 excavation of the cairn identified pre-barrow activity which included worked flints, knapping debris and a sherd of pottery. Traces of burning were also observed on the surface. Two phases of cairn construction were identified, the kerb of the initial cairn having been mostly demolished to encircle the later cairn. Some of the human remains recovered in 1953 could be clearly identified with the initial phase of the cairn. They consisted of the remains of at least ten individuals, namely four or five males, three females and two infants. This deposit occupied an area some 10ft by 9ft which had three components: the assemblage of bones (eight inhumations, the rest disarticulated); an elongated gathering of burned bones accompanied by a fire-twisted bronze awl; and around and beneath them a considerable spread of carbonised twigs and small branches upon which were cremated bones. Disarticulated bone was found associated with the second phase of the cairn. In total, there were the bones of at least eleven adults, three children and three or four newborn infants or late foetuses and the cremated remains of two adults and one young adult or sub-adult. The excavators tentatively interpreted the deposits as examples of 'institutional homicide'. (8). Bateman noted he found two inhumations (disturbed) and animal bones close to the centre. Re-examination by Ashbee found there to be three individuals, all adult. Also in this area and not recognised by Bateman was an adult cremation on the OLS, and three infants (incomplete) from unknown contexts. In an area not examined by Bateman, Ashbee found four areas with burials. To the west was a bone scatter comprising a child and parts of two infants, in the basal layer of the cairn and OLS. To the east were two deposits, both probably from the second cairn phase. One was a disarticulated adult, the other a decayed inhumation with parts of an infant. The main burial area lay to the south, comprising three crouched inhumations, three disturbed inhumations, the bones of a juvenile and three infants, teeth of two adults, the cremation with a bronze awl, a part cremation, AOC Beaker sherds, a possible grooved ware sherd, a flint scraper. Evidence was also found for pre-barrow activity comprising a fragment of polished axe, Petit Tranchet Derivative arrowhead, four scrapers, one core, 29 flakes. On the OLS surface were one fabricator, one core, six flakes. Animal bones were found in the cairn material, including cattle, sheep, pig, dog and red deer. Dimension: L: 16.5m; B: 15.0m; H: 0.8m. The outer kerb measured 14.5 by 13.0m and the inner one 13.5 by 11.5m, they virtually touched to the north-east. (9).

Sources/Archives (9)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Bateman, T. 1848. Vestiges of the Antiquities of Derbyshire. pp 61-62.
  • <2> Article in serial: Ashbee, P. 1954. 'Excavation of a Barrow at Hindlow', Archaeology Newsletter. Vol.5, no.7. pp 134-135.
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: Ashbee, P. 1960. The Bronze Age Round Barrow in Britain. p46, fig.11.
  • <4> Personal Observation: F1 FRH 25-FEB-66.
  • <5> Personal Observation: LS 25" Nov 1971.
  • <6> Index: NDAT. 1158.
  • <7> Bibliographic reference: Marsden, B. 1986. The Burial Mounds of Derbyshire (revised edition). p 46.
  • <8> Article in serial: Ashbee, P & Ashbee, R. 1981. 'A Cairn on Hindlow, Derbyshire: Excavations, 1953', Derbyshire Archaeology Journal. Volume 101. pp 9-41.
  • <9> Unpublished document: Barnatt, J. 1989. The Peak District Barrow Survey (updated 1994). Site 7:43.



Grid reference Centred SK 0837 6905 (20m by 19m) (Centre)

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Record last edited

Nov 3 2020 10:33AM

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