Situated in Walmersley Township, three miles north of the old Bury Grammar School yard, Whitelow is an isolated, steep-sided, glacial hillock which rises to a height of 249m above OD, commanding a view of the Irwell valley to its west.
An oval enclosed cremation cemetery at the north end of the hillock, with a maximum diameter of 27m containing a small central cairn, was completely excavated.
Of twelve cremations found, five were in collared urns. Other ceramics included one complete and one basal sherd from an accessory vessel, several sherds from a small cordoned urn without bones, one complete and one fragmented clay stud from separate burials.
Fish bones accompanied two burials. Flint implements and flakes appeared in central and southern parts of the site and with five of the burials.
The only metal objects were two halves of a bronze awl in the “primary” burial.
Analyses of finds from Whitelow indicate its use as a cemetery during the first half of the second millennium BC.
Funerary rituals at the site have been studied by Robert Law. More recently analysis and dating of cremated remains has been carried out by Samantha Walsh.
Refs: Tyson. N. “Whitelow Hill, Excavation of a Bronze Age cremation cemetery”. Manchester Archaeological Bulletin Vol. 9 (1994/5) pp 5-22
Law. R. “Death, deposition and diversity”. An investigation into the funerary practices that occurred at two Bronze Age enclosures in the Central Pennine region. MA thesis Manchester University 2004.
Walsh. S. L. “Identity as process: an archaeological and osteological study of Early Bronze Age burials in northern England”. Unpublished Ph D thesis, Preston: University of Central Lancashire 2013.