Cow Low bowl barrow (Tunstead Quarry)


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1017541

Date first listed: 14-Dec-1992


Ordnance survey map of Cow Low bowl barrow (Tunstead Quarry)
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Derbyshire

District: High Peak (District Authority)

Parish: Green Fairfield

National Grid Reference: SK 10274 72976


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

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 disturbed by excavation, much of Cow Low bowl barrow (Tunstead Quarry) remains intact and retains significant intact archaeological remains.


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


Cow Low bowl barrow (Tunstead Quarry) is a sub-circular barrow situated north of Wye Dale on the limestone plateau of Derbyshire. The monument includes a mound measuring 29m by 25m and standing 1.7m high. This has been slightly disturbed on the northern and south-eastern edges by quarrying and has a small hollow in the top believed to have resulted from a minor excavation carried out prior to 1811 when human bones and `ancient implements' were found. The barrow is also the site of important finds made during a partial excavation by Thomas Bateman in 1846. These included a primary crouched female skeleton covered by a large flat stone and lying on a layer of burnt bones containing horse teeth, part of a dog's skull and a bone pin. Above the skeleton were found the jumbled bones of five more interments and, above those, a small cist containing a crouched female skeleton with two jet necklaces. Above this two more crouched skeletons were found, one on top of the other, inside a hexagonal cist, the lower accompanied by a food vessel. A scattered cremation lay above this cist and an intrusive Anglian burial, dating to c.AD700, was found near to the surface. The earlier remains indicate that the barrow dates to the Bronze Age and had an extended period of use throughout that period. Accompanying the Anglian inhumation were a glass vessel, a pin and chain, a blue glass bead and a silver necklace, a hinged wooden box and other implements including a comb and fragments of iron. The barrow also lies within a relict landscape which includes Romano-British field boundaries and settlement sites. Excluded from the scheduling are the drystone walls crossing the monument 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: 13349

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
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), 91-95
Jewitt, A, History of Buxton, (1811), 81
Marsden, B M, The Burial Mounds of Derbyshire , (1977), 41-2
Meaney, A L S, Gazetteer of Early Anglo-Saxon Burial Sites, (1964), 74-5
Fowler, M J, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Anglian Settlement of the Peak, , Vol. 74, (1954), 134-151
Fowler, M J, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in The Transition From Late Neolithic To Early Br A In The PK Dist., , Vol. 74, (1954)
Manby, T G, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Food Vessels of the Peak District (1957), , Vol. 77, (1957), 1-29

End of official listing