Bee Low bowl barrow


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Derbyshire Dales (District Authority)
National Park:
National Grid Reference:
SK 19160 64735

Reasons for Designation

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar, although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring across most of lowland Britain. Often occupying prominent locations, they are a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisations amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

Although Bee Low bowl barrow has been disturbed by excavation, further significant archaeological remains will survive in the unexcavated areas of the monument and on the old land surface underneath.


Bee Low bowl barrow is a roughly circular barrow situated in the central uplands of the limestone plateau of Derbyshire. The monument includes a 1.5m high mound with a diameter of 16m. Partial excavations carried out by Thomas Bateman in 1843 and 1851, and by Marsden in the late 1960s, have revealed the remains of eleven human burials of adults and children, most of which were crouched inhumations but some of which were cremations. The primary burial was a cremation laid on a flat stone at the centre of the mound adjacent to a barbed and tanged flint arrowhead. Several of the secondary burials were laid in rock-cut graves or cists formed of limestone slabs, one of which was covered by a paved chert ceiling. In addition to the crouched skeleton, the latter grave contained a flint knife and a decorated clay drinking vessel. This and other similar vessels assign the barrow to the Beaker period or Early Bronze Age, and this date is supported by other Bronze Age artefacts which, in addition to flint implements, include a number of Bronze pins. Also found, on the old land surface beneath the barrow, was a Neolithic polished stone axe and a pointed arrowhead of a similar date. These earlier artefacts are likely to be residual remains contained in the material used to build the barrow. The boundary walls and fencing crossing the edges of the monument are excluded from the scheduling although the ground underneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract. It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features, considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Abercromby, J, Bronze Age Pottery of the British Isles, (1912), 56,88
Barnatt, J, The Peak District Barrow Survey (1989), (1989)
Barnatt, J, The Peak District Barrow Survey (1989), (1989)
Bateman, T, Vestiges of the Antiquities of Derbyshire, (1849), 35
Bateman, T, Ten Years Diggings in Celtic and Saxon Grave-Hills, (1861), 71-4
Clarke, D L, The Beaker Pottery of Great Britain and Ireland, (1970), 383,478
Marsden, B M, The Burial Mounds of Derbyshire , (1977), 102
Marsden, B, 'Journal of Antiquaries' in The Excavation of the Bee Low Round Cairn, (1970)


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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