Books, Prehistory, Ten Years' Digging 1859

 Bole Hill Chelmorton

Ten Years' Digging 1859 is in Ten Years' Digging.

Books, Prehistory, Ten Years' Digging 1859, Bole Hill

On the 25th of May, we opened two stone cists on the site of the ruined tumulus at Bole Hill [Map], Bakewell Moor, where some remarkably elongated crania were found in 1843.

The first we examined did not appear to have been disturbed, although the skull therein discovered lay in one comer, apart from the skeleton to which it belonged. The body had been deposited in the usual contracted position upon its left side, and was surrounded by small stones, having above an artless covering of large flat slabs. The shortness and slenderness of the bones indicate the female sex, the femur being but 16½, and the tibia 13, inches long. The skull is decidedly long in the fronto-occipital diameter, but from the fulness of the parietal prominences this peculiarity is not so obvious at a first glance as in other crania from the same mound. The obliteration of the sutures, taken in connection with the general smoothness of the calvarium, and the abraded state of the teeth, show that the age at death would not be less than 60 years.

The second cist-vaen had been so thoroughly dug over at a former period, as to yield nothing more than detached bones of two or three skeletons, one of them that of a young person. No instruments or pottery were found in either enclosure. The cists consisted of rectangular compartments, made by placing massive blocks of limestone on edge upon the natural surface of the land, the unoccupied space between them being levelled up with stone collected in the neighbourhood.

Books, Prehistory, Ten Years' Digging 1859, Chelmorton

On the 9th of September, we opened a small grave mound [Chelmorton Thorn Barrow [Map]] near Chelmorton Thorn, Derbyshire, measuring about 9 yards across and 2 feet high. By cutting a trench through the middle we found it to consist of pudiled and tempered earth mixed with a few limestones, the latter more plentiful about the centre; beneath these, and very slightly lower than the natural surface, on a very uneven floor of rock, lay a tall but slender skeleton, evidently of a young man of the Anglo-Saxon race, who had been carefully deposited at full length on his back, with the head due west; the arms lay along the sides, but the hands had been placed upon the lower part of the person, the phalanges of the fingers being found in the hollow of the pelvis, which had become flattened by pressure from the earth above. Close to the left side of the pelvis we found two short knives and a buckle of iron, all very much corroded by the destructive action of the puddled earth, which had also decayed the skeleton so much, that it was impossible to obtain accurate measurements of any of the long bones.

It is rather remarkable, that the place has the reputation of being haunted: on the occasion of our visit a person was pointed out who had actually been favoured with a sight of the apparition, which was manifested in the form of a man of unearthly stature, who walked before the seer for some distance, about the hour of four on a summer's morning.

In the afternoon of the same day, we went to a mutilated barrow [Deep Dale Barrow [Map]], situated in a romantic spot close to the verge of some limestone rocks, overhanging a waterless valley near Chelmorton, called Deepdale, about a mile north-west of the village; but found that the whole remains had been turned over, most likely to extract the stone for building purposes. Of objects indicating its original intention, we observed traces in the presence of comminuted bone, rats' bones, and shreds of flint.