SK 1744 7093: Fin Cop, Round Barrow. A cairn on the summit of Fin Cop (72 yards north-west of the hillfort rampart and 14 yards from the precipice, and so at c. SK 1742 7113). It is 161 feet in diameter and was excavated c.1796 prior to its destruction by the farmer. Two cists were found, one containing only ashes and burnt bone and the other an inhumation with two leaf-shaped arrowheads. Elsewhere in the cairn were three urns with cremations and two other inhumations on the level ground. (1).
A large barrow opened by Major H. Rooke in 1795, prior to its destruction by the farmer. There is now virtually no trace left. The mound contained a probable primary inhumation in a rock-cut grave, built up with stone, and covered with a capstone. The skeleton lay face down with a piece of black marble (0.6m (2ft) long, 0.25m (9in) wide and 0.15m (6in) high) on the forehead. It was accompanied by two leaf shaped flint arrowheads and a small, flat circular stone with a thin body of stucco on both sides. The skeleton appeared to be disarticulated and incomplete. A second, contemporary, dry-walled cist contained ashes and burnt bones. In other parts of the barrow were three coarse urns full of ashes and burnt bones (possibly intrusive inhumations), one with a "spearhead of stone". (2,3,8).
One of the sherds of Food Vessel pottery found within this barrow was of Type Ia(ii) with a cord line and wrapped cord decoration. There were also rims sherds of Type 3, also with cord line decoration, and a type 4(i) brown paste-cord line and stab decorate pot. Now in Sheffield Museum. (5).
The barrow is situated within the scheduled monument of Fin Cop hillfort. It was scheduled on the 2nd November 1950. Near the western edge of the fort, just north of the eighteenth century quarry, are the ploughed over remains of an earlier Bronze Age bowl barrow. The barrow was quarried for its stone in the late eighteenth century, possibly
to feed the adjacent lime kiln. Subsequently, in 1795, it was partially excavated by Rooke. His discoveries included a rock-cut grave built up with stone and covered by a capstone. Inside was a disarticulated skeleton accompanied by two flint arrowheads. Elsewhere in the mound, he found a dry-walled cist, or grave, containing the remains of a cremation, while, on the south-east side three pottery 'urns' were discovered, one of which has since been identified as a ceremonial food vessel. These contained further cremations and one of the 'urns' also contained an arrowhead. Two further inhumations were found on the east side of the mound. In its present disturbed condition, the barrow has a diameter of 24m by 23m and a height of c.0.5m though, originally it would have been between 1m and 2m high. (6).
There is no ground evidence of this cairn. (7). The Map reference of SK 1742 7113 given previously is to a natural knoll. The actual site survives at the revised reference given above and comprises a low ploughed over rim. This is much as seen by Rooke in 1795 who excavated here immediately after the site was robbed for stone (not the reverse as stated above). Rooke does not give details of the "arrowheads", in the rock-cut grave and as these appear to be lost, their form is unknown (leaf shaped description given above, is unjustified). There is no data on the relative chronology of the deposits, contrary to statements made in (8 [?]).
Fin Cop round barrow is located on the crest of Fin Cop hill with the Wye Valley gorge a short distance to the west. It has restricted views over the nearby land within 1km, but fine views within 5km. The barrow is now a mutilated site due to being ploughed down and partially removed. The original diameter was probably c.20m. It was excavated by Rooke in 1796 who dug in the west of the centre in a robbed area. He found a rock cut grave, with three natural sides, the fourth being defined by a flat stone covered with flat capstones. It contained an inhumation with a disarticulated skull covered by a slab of Ashford marble. There were also two flint 'arrowheads' (unknown form) and a small flat circular stone with stucco. In the south-east of the centre, still in the robbed area, a small rectangular cist of flat stones in a pit in natural soil was found full of ashes and burnt bones. In the south-east of the barrow rim were sherds of three 'urns' together, full of ashes and burnt bones, one with an 'arrowhead' and a quartz pebble. At the east edge of the barrow were two inhumations on the natural level with a 'spearhead' (natural stone). (10).