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Monument record MDR321 - Gospel Hillocks Oval Barrow, Lower Cumberland Farm, King Sterndale

Type and Period (4)

  • (Early Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 1501 BC)
  • (Early Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 1501 BC)
  • (Early Bronze Age - 2350 BC to 1501 BC)
  • (Early Neolithic to Early Bronze Age - 4000 BC to 1501 BC)

Protected Status/Designation

Full Description

SK: 0863 7148: Gospel Hillocks, Barrow: ['B' SK 0863 7148]. Barrow [B] - almost demolished, opened in 1865 revealing three skeletons, several V-perforated jet buttons, a flint axe and probably an 'AB' beaker in a cist with two skeletons. (2,5) Tumulus 'B' opened by Lukis in 1865. It contained interments, an FB Beaker and 52 (E) sherds. (4,7,10). SK: 0863 7148: Tumulus. Gospel Hillocks. (6). Both tumuli are now under pasture. 'B' has been mutilated to ground level. Published Surveys (25") revised. (8). Gospel Hillock, Cowdale. The tumulus 'B' Beaker sherds are of the 52 (E) Developed Southern beaker, eastern cylinder necked variant group type, and are held at the British Museum. The other beaker of FN rusticated ware group (Corpus no.124) is now lost. (9) One of two barrows at Gospel Hillocks [the other is SMR 8807], though this has apparently been ploughed out. It was excavated by F.D. Lukis in May 1865. In the centre was a contracted inhumation with several V-perforated jet buttons. Another central inhumation was accompanied by a flint axe. A cist, partly of dry wall construction, with a flat stone pavement, contained two inhumations and a Beaker. The Beaker is in the British Museum. Clarke's corpus of Beakers records another from this site, now lost. A flat-sided axe is also recorded from this cairn. (11) This mutilated mound is extant and has been heavily robbed for stone. It has never been ploughed although ploughing round it may have modified it's shape. The present shape suggests it may be a long barrow although this is far from certain given it's mutilated condition. It may well have been in it's present state in 1853 if this is the mutilated barrow referred to by Bateman (SMR 8810). It is far from clear if this is the mound dug by Lukis in 1865. Local informants told Ward in c.1898 (2) that this was the case. Lucas is not explicit about the shape and size of the site he dug but his diagrammatic plan would suggest it was small and circular. If this was the case then it suggests SMR 8807. Lucas also notes that he backfilled his trenches to restore its outline, which contradicts with SMR 8808 unless it is postulated that the present damage post-dates 1865. These excavations are given here but it must be remembered that an equally good case can be made for 8807. The description of excavations given in (11) is incomplete: The jet buttons were near, but not directly associated with either central inhumation. Both of the latter lay on a large limestone slab (which was not lifted). The cist lay to the north-west side and also contained flint flakes. No mention of other pots/sherds is made by Lukis which would explain Clarke's reference to a second Beaker - this is probably the sherds from SMR 8809. A further inhumation was found by the southern edge of the central slab. Fragments of bone, teeth and flint flakes were found elsewhere in the trench. The present farmer states that excavations took place here five to ten years ago, undertaken by "a professor from Leeds" - no record of this has been found. (13) One of two cairns at Gospel Hillocks, lying c.100m apart. Measuring 28m x 18.5m and oriented east-west, it is badly mutilated by past excavation and stone robbing, and varies in height from 0.3m to 0.8m. A Neolithic date is indicated by its shape and by the polished flint axe found during excavations in the nineteenth century. This was associated with three inhumation burials located on a limestone slab and several jet "buttons". In addition, a stone cist was discovered, containing a further two inhumations, fragments of Beaker pottery and flint flakes. This indicates the cairn was being reused into the early Bronze Age. (13)

Sources/Archives (13)

  • <1> Article in serial: Lukis, F C. 1867-8. 'Archaeological notes made by Captain F D Lukis, HM 64th Regiment, during a visit to Buxton, in 1865', The Reliquary. Volume 8, pp 81-87.
  • <2> Article in serial: Ward, J. 1897-1899. "Notes within the proceedings for Jan. 26 1899", Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries. Volume 17. pp 310-316.
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: Evans, J. 1897. Ancient Stone Implements of Great Britain.
  • <4> Bibliographic reference: Turner, W. 1899. Ancient Remains Near Buxton. pp 117-119.
  • <5> Bibliographic reference: Abercromby, J. 1912. Bronze Age Pottery of the British Isles Volume 1. Volume 1. p 26.
  • <6> Map: 1955. OS 6".
  • <7> Unpublished document: North Derbyshire Archaeological Trust (NDAT). 1965-1966. Microfiche reel 5.
  • <8> Personal Observation: F1 FC 03-FEB-66.
  • <9> Bibliographic reference: Clarke, D L. 1970. Beaker Pottery of Great Britain and Ireland. p 2, 478, 545, 552.
  • <10> Bibliographic reference: Marsden, B. 1977. The Burial Mounds of Derbyshire. p 65, 120-121.
  • <11> Index: North Derbyshire Archaeological Trust (NDAT). North Derbyshire Archaeological Trust: 1357.
  • <12> Unpublished document: Barnatt, J. 1989. The Peak District Barrow Survey (updated 1994). Site 5:2.
  • <13> Scheduling record: English Heritage. 1991. Scheduling Notification. 13209. Cat. No.: 281.



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  • EDR150

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Record last edited

Feb 3 2015 11:08AM

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