OS Grid Reference: SD 70649 37461. Grass-covered Bronze Age burial mound (tumulus) in the corner of a farmer’s field, near the old boathouse (now a private house), 1 mile southeast of Hurst Green, Lancashire, which goes under the name Winckley Lowes I. The River Ribble is close by this site with a footpath running alongside it. There is a larger mound with trees growing on top of it a short distance away that is called Winckley Lowes II or Loe Hill. At the time of my visit in late August the mound was surrounded by maze crops and so the site was difficult to get to and difficult to photo! There was a large hollow in the centre of the mound and what looked like a hole at the side of this, which was probably due to robbing-away in the past. At least two foot-paths heading south-eastwards, then south, from the B6243 road between Hurst Green and Great Mitton, near the bridges, are the best bet to reach the site; then follow the Ribble Way running beside the river to the former boathouse (now a private house); the two mounds lie in the farmer’s fields, just at the back.
It’s not a good idea, however, to visit the mounds when the maze crops are growing tall. When the crops have been cut back in the Autumn it is possibly to see both mounds from the footpath beside the river Ribble, or from the two metal gates at either side of the boathouse, and if you do go further into the fields to get a closer view it is probably best to walk along the edges of the ploughed fields.
The mound or barrow known as Winckley Lowes I stands in the corner of a farmer’s field – some 220m north of the Hacking boathouse. It is 2.5m (8 ft 2′) high and roughly 34m (111 ft) by 45m (147 ft) and is built of earth and stones. It is described as being a bowl barrow or round barrow. At the centre there is a large hollow or depression with a small hole visible at one side. At the time of my visit in August the mound was covered in very thick grass and weeds. The barrow stands on what is the floodplain of the river Ribble.
Authors John & Phillip Dixon say of Winckley Lowes I: “The one by the nearby barn was excavated by Rev. J. R. Luck of Stonyhurst College in 1894. The tumulus revealed a cinerary urn of c. 1250 B.C. which contained the cremated remains of a body. Also found were a young man’s skull and a flint knife; a boy’s skull and a child’s skull.
“The burial is one of an important person — probably some local chieftain — buried near the ancient natural ford at Jumbles Rocks which must have been known and used by early man even in Neolithic times.”
The site entry for Winckley Lowes (in the parish of Aighton, Bailey and Chaigley) in ‘Lancashire Archaeological Bulletin’ (1984) says:- “Two mounds. (a) Excavated by Fr. Luck in 1894. Found cremation without urn, 3 inhumations, flint knife and pottery. These finds were all at Stonyhurst College in 1961 and 1967. The pottery was medieval or post-medieval, and, taken with the hollow in the top of the mound, suggests robbing. The flint is now at L. R. O.”
Winckley Lowes II also known as ‘Loe Hill’ will be looked at in more detail in a separate site page.
Sources and related websites:-
John & Phillip Dixon, Journeys Through Brigantia (Volume Nine) The Ribble Valley, Aussteiger Publications, Barnoldswick, 1993.
Lancashire Archaeological Bulletin, Vol. 10 No. 2/3, May & July 1984.
© Ray Spencer, The Journal of Antiquities, 2017.