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Monument record MDR1935 - Chelmorton Low Bowl Barrow (west), Chelmorton Low, Chelmorton

Type and Period (2)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

A barrow about a quarter of a mile north east of Chelmorton was examined in 1782. It was 75yds in circumference and 7ft high. A stone revetment and a cist containing four or five extended skeletons with the heads towards the centre were found. (1) There are two barrows on the summit of the hill called Lowe above Chelmorton, the circumference of the larger one is nearly eighty yards [SMR 3803], the smaller about twenty [SMR 3804]. The latter was examined by Bateman on the 9th September 1846 but only calcined bone, a flint lance-head and rats' bones were found. (3) [SK 11407062 & 11447063] TUMULI. (5) The two bowl barrows on Chelmorton Low are located on a hilltop on the western edge of Taddington Moor on the limestone plateau of Derbyshire. The monument includes both barrows within a single constraint area. The larger, southwestern barrow comprises a sub-circular mound measuring 24m by 22m and surviving to a height of c.1.5m. It is situated c.20m from the smaller, north-eastern barrow which is roughly circular and measures 18.5m by 17.5m by c.1m high. Both barrows have suffered disturbance in the past, both by eighteenth-century wall builders who robbed them of their stone and by partial excavation. In 1782, the larger barrow was found to contain a stone cist which held the remains of four or five inhumations and was situated on the north-east side, just inside a kerb of limestone blocks. This kerb was partially uncovered in 1961 by Forde-Johnson when it was demonstrated that it formed part of a ring inside the barrow of 19.5m diameter. Disturbed human bones were also found by Salt in 1909, near to the centre of the barrow on the western side. The smaller barrow was partially excavated by Salt and Forde-Johnson, and also by Thomas Bateman in 1846. Bateman recovered flint implements and evidence of a cremation, while a polygonal kerb of stone blocks was partially uncovered by Forde-Johnson. The excavated remains indicate a Bronze Age date for both barrows. (6) 24.0 x 22.0 m: A large barrow, south-westerly, 75 ft in diameter and 7ft high and larger of a pair, the other being 65 ft. in diameter and 5ft high, at this location (see SMR 3804 for smaller barrow). Bateman refers to the discovery of five human skeletons in chambers in a large barrow ΒΌ mile north-east of Chelmorton in 1782, quoting Pilkington. Either this is that barrow, or it has been confused with Five Wells to the north-east in Taddington. Further excavation in 1961 (Forde-Johnstone) revealed a substantial stone kerb but work was stopped due to poor weather. (7) Published survey (25") revised. The larger barrow to the west is 2.1m maxmum height; the other 1.4 m. (8) The only original account of the 1782 excavation is Pilkington (1783) and while locationally vague a good case can be made for it having been this site. It was not described as having a 'chamber', as stated above, but as having a 'cell or coffin' immediately within the kerb measuring 0.6m (c.2ft) across and 0.9m (c.3ft) deep. This may well have been a cist. It contained four to five inhumations. Today, the barrow has had its side lowered to the north and east. Forde-Johnstone found an earlier trench here predating 1846 as Bateman noted the exposed rubble much as it is today. This backfilled excavation trench does not equate with the 1782 finds made by workmen whilst removing stone. A trench was dug by Salt from the west to the centre in 1909, the scars of which can still be seen. Only disturbed bones were found near the centre. No small finds were made in the four small 1961 trenches. The central hollow predates 1782 and has recently been filled with soil. Two small pits have been dug on the barrow, perhaps by a metal detector user. A small animal gravestone has been inserted at the southern edge of the barrow in 1984. There is no visible trace of the kerb revealed in 1961. It had a diameter of 19.5m (64ft). (12)

Sources/Archives (14)

  • <1> Bibliographic reference: Pilkington, J. 1783. A View of the Present State of Derbyshire. pp 424-426.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Jewitt, A. 1811. History of Buxton. p 74.
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: Bateman, T. 1848. Vestiges of the Antiquities of Derbyshire. pp 21-22, 96-97.
  • <4> Bibliographic reference: 1909. 'Chelmorton Low', Buxton Advertiser.
  • <5> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1955. 6".
  • <6> Scheduling record: Ministry of Works. 1961. Ancient Monuments of England and Wales. 13348.
  • <7> Article in serial: Forde-Johnston, J. 1962. 'The excavation of two barrows on Chelmorton Low', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 82.
  • <8> Personal Observation: F1 BHS 08-DEC-65.
  • <9> Bibliographic reference: Marsden, B. 1977. The Burial Mounds of Derbyshire. p 28.
  • <10> Index: North Derbyshire Archaeological Committee (NDAC). North Derbyshire Archaeological Committee Index. 1977: 0673.
  • <11> Index: NDAT. 0673.
  • <12> Index: SMR Mainframe.
  • <13> Unpublished document: Barnatt, J. 1989. The Peak District Barrow Survey (updated 1994). Site 5:4.
  • <14> Photograph: Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA). Slide Collection. 3803.1-6.



Grid reference Centred SK 1139 7061 (23m by 24m) (Centre)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (4)

  • EDR222
  • EDR249
  • EDR332
  • EDR14

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Record last edited

Jun 26 2015 12:30PM

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