HOB HURST’S HOUSE – BEELEY MOOR
Square burial mound which dates from the Bronze Age, making it over 3,000 years old. There are numerous prehistoric cairns on the moors, and many of a similar date. They were built by local groups in their fields and open pastures and contained human remains. They also served as visible community symbols.
Hob Hurst’s House is unique, with its square central mound, ditch and outer bank. The curious name, Hob Hurst, refers to a common folklore character appearing as an elf or giant, who was thought to live in stone circles and barrows. A much later pack-horse track cuts away part of the north side of this outer bank.
In 1853, Thomas Bateman, a local antiquarian, excavated Hob Hurst’s House. Inside the mound, he found a square stone-lined chamber containing charcoal and burnt human bones. The chamber can still be seen today.
Hob Hurst’s House was one of the first monuments in Britain to be taken into state care, through the Ancient Monument Act of 1882. The stone bollards, inscribed VR (for Victoria Regina) which surround the site, were erected at that time to mark the guardianship area.
The square enclosure ditch was partly destroyed by a much later pack-horse track.