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Monument record MDR1262 - Chambered tomb (site of), Bole Hill, Bakewell

Type and Period (5)

  • (Early Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 701 BC)
  • (Early Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 701 BC)
  • (Early Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 701 BC)
  • (Early Neolithic to Late Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 701 BC)
  • (Neolithic - 4000 BC to 2351 BC)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

SK 1834 6778. During removal of stones from the barrow, a large vault was discovered, closed with a large, flat stone, which, 'being removed, displayed to the astonished rustics engaged in the work of demolition, the unexpected sight of three human skeletons'. A large metal spear was also found. There are five vaults, examined on the 24th August 1843. The largest vault revealed four skeletons and a large sepulchral urn. Another revealed a few bones, horses' teeth and two polecat skulls. In the other three, nothing but rat's bones were found. (1) On the site of a large cairn called Bole Hill, on Bakewell Moor, removed before 1843, five cists were opened on the 24th August 1843 and the 25th May 1859. They were found to contain skeletons, (some contracted), pieces of a large coarse, plain urn and a large metal spear. Doubtful chambered tomb now destroyed. (1, 2, 7, 12) The site is labelled 'TUMULUS (Site of) Human Remains, Cist, etc., found' on the 6" OS map of 1923. (5) The site is marked on Ordnance Survey 25" by a dot at SK 1832 6776. There were no surface remains [in 1966]. (6) The location at SK 1834 6778 was searched, there is nothing here and no data could be found to support this. It probably is more likely the site was on a hilltop somewhere near SMR 811 (not searched 1988). The site was badly damaged prior to 1843 but features remained in 1859 and these could survive. The 'vault' found prior to 1843 also contained 'the large spear of some kind of metal'. The cist with finds opened in 1843 contained sherds of a large 'urn' of 'coarse material and plain manufacture' but there is no mention of a cremation and no indication it was secondary. A drawing shows a vessel of globular form. Another of the 1843 cists contained a few bones and horse teeth. This large barrow contained at least five cists and it has been suggested that some at least may be chambers or megalithic cists of Neolithic date rather than Bronze Age cists. The largest dug in 1843 contained four inhumations with elongated skulls. Other than this there is no positive support for the suggestion although it remains a possibility. (10) It has been suggested that the cists are actually chambers and the monument is Neolithic chambered tomb. On the correspondence of place name, the SMR suggests the barrow is, or was, located here, but no evidence can be identified on the ground. Barnatt notes that the barrow was destroyed by stone-getters sometime after the excavations, which may suggest the barrow was situated on the quarry to the south-east. (11) A feature reported to the HER Officer by a member of the public in February 2014 was visited by J Barnatt (Peak District National Park Authority Archaeologist) on 11 June 2014 and confirmed to be the likely vestiges of the chamber tomb previously thought to have been fully destoryed [Barnatt, 1996, site 6:9]. The barrow is at SK 1831 6777, where the 1st edition 25" OS map of 1879 marks a 'Site of Tumulus'. What is visible today, now under a mature hawthorn tree, is a vestige of a 'chamber' built of limestone slabs defining two sides of a large rectangular structure oriented roughly north-west/south-east. Two slabs, placed end to end, define a north-west side which is 3.9m long. A third slab matched one of these on a south-east side, whilst there is no sign of a presumed missing fourth slab to the north-east. The chamber width is 1.4m and the interior is slightly lower than the surrounding ground. All three slabs comprise fissured limestone set on edge, with between 0.4 and just over 0.5m visible height; they may have originally have been higher before weathering. There is no clear sign of a surrounding mound or other related surface features. When assessed in 1996 it was queried whether the cists recorded by Bateman were Neolithic ‘chambers’ or smaller Bronze Age cists. The size of the remaining structure clearly indicates there was at least one Neolithic chamber on site, although it is not known whether it was of the passage grave type as found at Five Wells or Minninglow, or the closed chamber type as at Tideslow or Ringham Low. The chambered site was placed on the summit of Bole Hill but to the north of the exact crest (where there is a second barrow which is still extant - SMR 811), with the mound placed on a false crest with fine views to west, north and east. (12)

Sources/Archives (12)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Bateman, T. 1848. Vestiges of the Antiquities of Derbyshire. pp. 47-8.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Bateman, T. 1861. Ten Years' Diggings in Celtic and Saxon Grave Hills. pp. 104-5.
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: Bateman, T. A Description of Tumuli or barrows in Derbyshire Opened by Thomas Bateman Jun of Bakewell in the Summer of 1943.
  • <4> Bibliographic reference: Bateman, W. 1821-1832. A Description of Tumuli etc. Opened Principally at Middleton by Youlgreave. Section 15.
  • <5> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1923. 6".
  • <6> Personal Observation: F1 BHS 15-FEB-66.
  • <7> Article in serial: Manby, T. 1958. 'Chambered tombs of Derbyshire', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 78, pp 25-39. p. 29.
  • <8> Bibliographic reference: Marsden, B. 1977. The Burial Mounds of Derbyshire. p. 11.
  • <9> Index: NDAT. 0128. 0128.
  • <10> Unpublished document: Barnatt, J. 1989. The Peak District Barrow Survey (updated 1994). Site 6:9.
  • <11> Unpublished document: Taylor, H (PDNPA). 1999. Shutts Farm, Bakewell, Over Haddon and Ashford, Derbyshire, archaeological survey, 1999. No.39, pp. 19-20.
  • <12> Unpublished document: Barnatt, J. 2014. Site visit report on Bole Hill Barrow, Bakewell.



Grid reference Centred SK 183 677 (14m by 15m) (Approximate)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (5)

  • EDR605
  • EDR606
  • EDR4099
  • EDR1103
  • EDR3894

Please contact the HER for details.

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Sep 1 2015 10:17AM

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