Bank Top oval barrow


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1008937

Date first listed: 21-Dec-1992


Ordnance survey map of Bank Top oval barrow
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This copy shows the entry on 10-Dec-2018 at 18:38:30.


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

County: Derbyshire

District: Derbyshire Dales (District Authority)

Parish: Kniveton

National Grid Reference: SK 21615 51725


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Oval barrows are funerary and ceremonial monuments of the Early to Middle Neolithic periods, with the majority of dated monuments belonging to the later part of the range. They were constructed as earthen or rubble mounds of roughly elliptical plan, usually delimited by quarry ditches. These ditches can vary from paired "banana-shaped" ditches flanking the mound to "U-shaped" or unbroken oval ditches nearly or wholly encircling it. Along with the long barrows, oval barrows represent the burial places of Britain's early farming communities and, as such, are amongst the oldest field monuments surviving visibly in the present landscape. Where investigated, oval barrows have produced two distinct types of burial rite: communal burials of groups of individuals, including adults and children, laid directly on the ground surface before the barrow was built; and burials of one or two adults interred in a grave pit centrally placed beneath the barrow mound. Certain sites provide evidence for several phases of funerary monument preceding the barrow and, consequently, it is probable that they may have acted as important ritual sites for local communities over a considerable period of time. Similarly, as the filling of the ditches around oval barrows often contains deliberately placed deposits of pottery, flintwork and bone, periodic ceremonial activity may have taken place at the barrow subsequent to its construction. Oval barrows are very rare nationally, with less than 50 recorded examples in England. As one of the few types of Neolithic structure to survive as earthworks, and due to their rarity, their considerable age and their longevity as a monument type, all oval barrows are considered to be nationally important.

Bank Top oval barrow is a small but well preserved example which has suffered only minimal disturbance and will therefore contain largely intact archaeological remains.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


Bank Top oval barrow is situated c.50m south of Bank Top bowl barrow in the southern fringes of the limestone plateau of Derbyshire. The monument includes a mound, slightly elliptical in shape, orientated west to east and measuring 15m x 6m x between c.0.3 and c.0.5m high. Highest at the western end, the monument tails away downslope to the east. A slight depression in the top of the mound suggests that a small-scale archaeological exploration has been made in the past but there is no recorded excavation. The overall appearance and dimensions of the monument, and its location below the crest of a hill, indicate that it is a Neolithic burial mound of the type known as an oval barrow. Excluded from the scheduling is the field wall crossing the top of the mound but the ground underneath 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: 13340

Legacy System: RSM


PRN 2026, Wildgoose, Martin, Bank Top Farm Barrow, (1986)

End of official listing