Books, Prehistory, Vestiges of the Antiquities of Derbyshire, Section I Tumuli, Section I Brushfield Barrow 1825

Section I Brushfield Barrow 1825 is in Section I Tumuli.

About the year 1825 a tumulus, at Brushfield [Map], Derbyshire, was accidently opened by the farmer in whose land it was. It contained an iron sword, measuring thirty-two inches in length and two inches in breadth, the iron umbo of a shield, an iron knife and buckle. These articles passed into the hands of the late Mr. Birds, of Eyam; and thence, with the exception of the centre of the shield, into the author's museum.

Books, Prehistory, Vestiges of the Antiquities of Derbyshire, Section I Brushfield Barrow 1825, Section I Tumuli 1830

About the year 1830 a barrow upon the East Moor, near Baslow, called Stone Lowe [Map], was accidentally opened by the farmer in whose stackyard it stood. In the centre he found two large urns, both neatly ornamented, and both containing calcined bones and flints. Inside one of them was a small incense cup, with two perforations through one side. This being fortunately preserved, we are enabled to give a cut of it.

Books, Prehistory, Vestiges of the Antiquities of Derbyshire, Section I Brushfield Barrow 1825, Section I Tumuli 1832

In January 1832 a barrow was opened in a field called the "Long Roods," [Note. There are two Long Rood's Barrows: Long Roods Barrow 1 [Map] and Long Roods Barrow 2 [Map]. It isn't clear which is being referred to. The description 'about three hundred yards in front of the left flank of the military works on Fin Cop suggests the latter.] situated about three hundred yards in front of the left flank of the military works on Fin Cop, one mile north-west of Ashford-in-the-Water, on the road to Tideswell, in which two highly ornamental urns were found one broken to pieces, the other whole, and containing a deposit of calcined bones.

Amongst the debris of the barrow a third brass coin of Constantine, of the extremely common 'Gloria exercitus' type, was found.

Books, Prehistory, Vestiges of the Antiquities of Derbyshire, Section I Brushfield Barrow 1825, Section I Tumuli 1821

In February 1821, the Kenslow farm [Map], near Middleton-by-Yolgrave [Map], being planted and otherwise improved, a barrow [Map] was discovered upon the most elevated part of the land. In the nomenclature of Sir R. C. Hoare (age 62), it was a bowl barrow, composed of earth and stones, of about thirty feet in diameter, and its perpendicular height not more than three feet, with the usual shallow cavity on the top, five feet in diameter. The examination was commenced by a transverse section from the south side towards the middle of the tumulus. On approaching about six feet towards the centre a few human bones were discovered, promiscuously blended with those of a small animal, which Dr. Buckland has decided to be of the water rat (Reliquia Diluviana, plate ii, figs. 1, 2, 3, and 12), intermixed with a fine dry sand or mouldy slightly indicating calcination among which was a piece of ivory or bone the one side of which is convex the other flat with two perforations equidistant from the points which probably allowed of its being worn as a pensile ornament from the neck. In the centre of the barrow the rats' bones appeared in large quantities and in digging a little below the level of the natural ground the discovery of the primary deposit was made consisting of two skeletons one entire and the other nearly so laid at full length, about eighteen inches below the surface, in a cist or excavation of the soil, guarded nearly round, but particularly on the south and east sides, by large stones. The bodies had been deposited side by side, with their heads to the north-west; each head was placed in the hollow of a mass of magnesian lime-stone (of which the hill is composed), and reclining on the right side. Neither of them could be conveniently measured, but a thigh-bone was exactly eighteen inches in length, which, in a well-proportioned man, gives a height of about five feet ten inches. It is remarkable that not a tooth was wanting, or in the least decayed, in the jaws of either; and though, in one more particularly, the molars were much worn, as if by the mastication of hard substances, the enamel was still retained. The bones generally were but little decayed. One of the skulls appears to have been that of a man in the decline of life, and exhibits phrenological developments indicative of some of the worst passions incident to human nature. The other skull was crushed on removing the stone on which it lay. Near the bodies, and especially about the heads, a large quantity of the rats' bones and fine mould were strewed, with many round pebbles of various sizes, chiefly of quartz, which, in the opinion of Sir R. C. Hoare (age 62), were used in the sling. On the breast of the entire skeleton lay a circular fibula, or brooch, of copper or bronze. There was also a large quartz pebble and a fragment of pottery of red clay. Between the bodies was placed an axe- or hammer-head of basalt, in a decomposed state, and broken in the middle. In the same situation was found a porphyry slate pebble, highly polished, of very singular shape, four and a half inches in length, the same in medium circumference, the sides triangular and tapering towards the ends, which are rubbed flat. In vol, xii, p. 327, of the "Archæologia" a similar stone is described and engraved which was found in a barrow near Ashford-in-the-Water [Map] by Major Rooke. Behind the head lay a tusk apparently that of a dog and a molar tooth of the lower jaw of a horse. On these little if any decay seemed to have taken place.

Books, Prehistory, Vestiges of the Antiquities of Derbyshire, Section I Brushfield Barrow 1825, Section I Tumuli 1824

On the 31st of May, 1824, a large tumulus [Map], sixty feet in diameter, and four feet in height, situated in Haddon field, near the river Lathkiln, almost opposite to Conksbury [Map] was opened; it had been before disturbed by labourers in search of stone, who discovered near the centre a loosely walled vault or cist, containing two human skeletons, and a rude urn of baked clay; they also met with a considerable number of Roman coins in small brass, which were deposited in Haddon Hall. This second opening was made by cutting a trench from the north-west extremity towards the centre, during the progress of which the whole barrow was observed to consist of loose stones thrown together.

About three yards from the centre of the mound were found scattered about a quantity of third brass Roman coins to the number of eighty-two (quere 71 ), and with them some small pieces of lead ore, which would furnish an additional proof, were any wanting, of the remote era in which the Derbyshire lead mines were worked; near the coins was part of a glass vessel, when perfect, about three inches in diameter. In the vault (apparently the only one in the barrow), and doubtless containing the original interments, were discovered human bones, some of which had undergone cremation, fragments of four urns, and traces of decayed wood. The bodies were laid with their heads towards the north-east, and had the usual accompaniment of rats' bones; also the teeth of a canine animal.

The coins, which would pertain to a later interment of the Romano-British period, were of the following reigns: Constantine nine, Constans seventeen, Constantius II nine, family of Constantine three; namely, Urbs Roma one, and Constantinopolis two, Valentinian five, Valens twelve, Gratian three, and the remainder illegible.

In May 1824 a barrow [Note. There is no known barrow 'half a mile east'. Possibly Cales Dale Barrow [Map] which is 0.6miles NE of Arbor Low. ] situated about half a mile east of the temple of Arbor Lowe [Map] was opened; part of a human skeleton and a broken urn rudely ornamented about six inches in diameter with some calcined bones (doubtless human) near it were found amongst a multitude of rats bones also a dog's jaw-bone. This sepulchre had been disturbed some time previously by labourers getting stone, who, no doubt, had broken the urn to pieces, and who desisted in superstitious alarm on finding a complete human skeleton.

June 1st, 1824, an ineffectual attempt was made to open the immense tumulus [Map] forming part of the temple of Arbor Lowe [Map]. A deeper cutting was made in the same direction as the one made by Major Rooke in 1782, which was equally abortive; the only articles found by the Major being the almost universal rats' bones and part of a stag's horn; on the later attempt nothing occurred but one human tooth and some animal bones.

About 350 yards westward from Arbor Lowe [Map] is a barrow of very large size, called Gib Hill [Map], which is connected with the temple of Arbor Lowe by a considerable rampart of earth, now, however, faint and broken, which runs in a serpentine direction towards this barrow, having its commencement at the foot of the vallum of the temple, near the southern entrance. This tumulus is very conical, and rises to the height of about eighteen feet, and has the usual basin-like concavity on its summit. Its height, immense size, and remote antiquity are calculated to impress the reflecting mind with feelings of wonder and admiration. On opening this barrow it was found to consist of earth and limestone, divided by layers of amygdaloid, and in the centre a bed of very stiff reddish-brown clay, completely saturated with what was supposed to be animal matter, most probably arising from the decomposition of human bones. This bed or stratum of clay was laid upon the natural surface, to the depth of about a yard and a half; it was about three yards in diameter, and about five yards from the summit of the mount; this clay was intermixed with a considerable quantity of charcoal and burnt human bones, and a small sprinkling of rats' bones. From it were taken an arrow-head of flint, two and a half inches long, and unburnt, and a fragment of a basaltic celt.

Nearer the surface of the tumulus were found a small iron fibula which had once received a setting of some gem now lost and another piece of iron, of indeterminable form. The discovery of these articles would indicate an interment of later date than the one consisting of the calcined bones.

In the interior of the barrow were found numerous pieces of white calcined flint. This circumstance is by no means unusual, either in the Derbyshire or other barrows; that they were designedly placed there is no doubt, as pure flint is not indigenous to Derbyshire, and would have to be brought from a considerable distance.

Fosbrooke, on the authority of Pliny and Oough, tells us that the northern nations deemed them efficacious in confining the dead to their habitations. The arrow-head and celt were probably buried with the deceased under the influence of a notion similar to that under which the Laplanders, even to the present day, inter with their dead bows, arrows, hatchets, and swords, conceiving that they may be useful in a future state. The ancient northern people threw money and other valuables into the funeral pile, as a certain means of conducting the dead to the sacred Valhalla, or hall of the slain, where Odin presided.

On the 28th of July, 1824, a search was instituted into a barrow [Map] situate on the most northerly, as well as the most elevated, point of Middleton Moor; it measures forty feet in diameter, and is about two feet in elevation. At an early stage of the operations, which commenced by cutting through the mound from north to south, human bones, intermixed with those of the water rat, and pieces of charcoal, were met with; towards the centre the rats' bones increased in quantity, and amongst them were several dogs' teeth. Arriving at the middle, the remains of two skeletons were disclosed to view; the whole in great confusion, and mostly in fragments, many quite black frm having undergone combustion; an iron lance, or arrow-head, three inches long; a piece of iron, resembling a nail; and a singular piece of calcined flint, very neatly chipped into a circular form. Numerous examples of this instrument having been discovered in subsequent researches, they will be here-after designated as flints of the circular form, in order to simplify the accounts as much as possible. No urn was discovered, nor from the perfect search that was made is it probable that any had ever been deposited in the barrow. The remains of one skull lay upon a round sandstone which was in a decomposed state and of a red colour apparently having been burnt. Notwithstanding the confused state in which the contents of this barrow were founds they certainly had not been previously subjected to antiquarian research.

Books, Prehistory, Vestiges of the Antiquities of Derbyshire, Section I Brushfield Barrow 1825, Section I Tumuli 1825

On the 18th of May, 1825, was opened a tumulus in the immediate neighbourhood of that situate on Kenslowe Farm, previously described. The one in question did not prove so interesting as the former one, as it merely contained a few fragments of the skull and other bones of a human skeleton, and two iron knives, about six inches in length, and one and a half in width at the broadest parts, with a fragment of the wooden shaft adhering to one of them; the grain of the wood is similar to that of ash, which it most probably was. Two smaller bits of iron were found, which, together with the knives, were much oxydized. The burial-place, or cist, appeared to be a natural depression in the rock, and contained a great deal of charcoal. It is to be observed, that the contents of this barrow, with respect to the metallic weapons and the absence of small animal bones, differ from all the others before opened at Middleton.

Another barrow [Map], situated within a few yards of the Roman road, where it passes through the Oldham Farm [Map] at Middleton, yielded neither implements, human bones, nor rats' bones; only fragments of charcoal were noticed. (Fragments of coarse pottery have since been discovered in this tumulus.)

On May 19, 1825, an examination of a barrow on the apex of Cronkstone Hill [Map], led to the discovery of a cist, measuring about four feet square, constructed of large stones, which contained a perfect human skeleton, lying on its right side; at the left side of the head, lay the lower part of the horn of a large deer, which measured eleven inches in length, and nine and a quarter in circumference.

The only barrow yet discovered in a low situation in the neighbourhood of Middleton is placed in a meadow called Larks Lowe [Map], and near the rivulet called the Bradford; this tumulus was opened on the 20th of May 1825 when the cist was found to be constructed of large flat stones placed edge-ways with similar ones serving for the cover; it contained the decayed fragments of a human skeleton. On the eastern side of the barrow was found an urn of coarse earthy full of calcined bones and dry mould, the top protected by a flat piece of lime-stone, upon which was placed a small, shallow, earthen vessel very firmly baked, (of the kind denominated by Sir Richard Hoare (age 66) "incense cups"), a pin of bronze, two and a quarter inches long; several animal teeth and bones, amongst them a horse's tooth, a circular pebble, and a stone of peculiar shape; the large urn was of so friable a nature, that it probably had no other baking than what it received in the funeral fire, from this cause it was found impracticable to preserve it entire. June 19, 1826, it was thought advisable to reopen the very interesting barrow [Map] on Garratt Piece, Middleton, which was opened by Dr. Pegge in 1788, and described in the Archæologia, vol. ix, page 189; in it were found animal bones, one of which was calcined; a portion of the lower branch of an antler of the red deer, six inches in length, which had been tooled at the root by a sharp instrument; also some rats' bones. (See a subsequent examination of this barrow.)

Books, Prehistory, Vestiges of the Antiquities of Derbyshire, Section I Brushfield Barrow 1825, Section I Tumuli 1827

In December, 1827, a barrow was discovered upon the Cross Flatts, Middleton, by labourers digging holes for a plantation; on the 11th of that month it was thoroughly investigated, and was found to contain a skeleton, apparently that of a young person, deposited at full length in a natural cist in the rock, about two feet in depth; the head lay in an easterly direction; the weapons of this person consisted of an iron knife the blade five inches long with a portion of its wooden handle still remaining, and a piece of roughly chipped flint, probably a spear-head; a natural piece of stone of a remarkable form was also discovered near the body; rats' bones were apparent, though in smaller quantity than usual. A similar iron knife and part of a stone celt were found in the subsequent year within 9 few yards of this barrow; they had most probably been thrown out and overlooked at the time it was opened, or disturbed by the planters.