1. Bowl Barrow

Bowl Barrow ancient monuments

Schedule entry copy

Entry in the Schedule of Monuments compiled and maintained by the Secretary of State under Section 1 of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended.

Monument: Bowl barrow 190m NNE of Knarr Barn
Parish: Saddleworth
District: Oldham
County: Greater Manchester

National Monument No: 23758
National Grid Reference(s): SD98000744

Description of the monument

The monument includes a bowl barrow located on a local high point 190m NNE of Knarr Barn. It includes a slightly oval earthen mound up to 0.5m high with maximum dimensions of 18m by 17m. Limited excavation of the barrow by Wrigley in 1911 located pieces of charcoal and fragments of burnt stone. The monument was again subjected to limited excavation during the 1980's; on this occasion the topsoil only was removed from a single trench. No finds were recorded.

Assessment of importance

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.

Despite two 20th century excavations, the bowl barrow 190m NNE of Knarr Barn survives reasonably well. Neither of these limited excavations located human remains or grave goods therefore the monument will contain undisturbed archaeological deposits within the mound and upon the old land surface beneath.

Map extract

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

Scheduling history

Monument included in the Schedule on: 7th February 1995.

Signed by: A R Middleton on behalf of the Secretary of State for National Heritage.