Chellow Heights, Heaton, Bradford, West Yorkshire

Cist (destroyed):  OS Grid Reference – SE 117 353

Archaeology & History

High up in the landscape on the northwestern edges of Bradford, where we now find the Chellow Heights reservoirs, ancient man saw fit to place the remains of their dead.  It’s in a damn good location too, typical of burial sites.  The views to the immediate north are directly at Rombalds Moor where, as we all know, Bronze Age and other prehistoric remains are found in huge numbers.

It was during the construction of the Chellow Heights reservoirs when the site was uncovered.  Twas here, in June 1921, where segments of three urns and,

“an incomplete incense cup, 2 inches high and 3 inches diameter at its base, were found together with partly burnt bones”,

of what were thought to be a young female adult. There are few other details.  The fact that there was no mention of any covering mound, nor mass or stones, strongly implies that neither a tumulus or cairn covered these urns—and neither place-name evidences nor early maps indicate anything to suggest such a monument—so it would be fair to surmise they had been deposited in a stone cist.


  1. Barnes, Bernard, Man and the Changing Landscape, Merseyside County Council 1982.
  2. Longworth, Ian, Collared Urns of the Bronze Age in Great Britain and Ireland, Cambridge University Press 1984.
  3. Rowe, J.H., “An Ancient Burial at Chellow, near Heaton,” in Heaton Review, volume 2, 1928.

© Paul BennettThe Northern Antiquarian

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2 thoughts on “Chellow Heights, Heaton, Bradford, West Yorkshire”

  1. I am new to the Bradford area and, wanting to discover more about the area, have walked a lot locally. I have been pleasantly surprised by the interest provided on these walks: particularly the water systems [springs, becks, streams, etc.]. So much so that I am considering giving a talk to a local group about local rivers/streams/becks/springs and man made water features [reservoirs, dams, aqueducts, etc.] both from an historical & geographic point of view.
    This comment is to ask your help in finding suitable information sources, including maps. I realise it is a huge subject area & I will only be able to touch its surface but I hope you can help. I am not a specialist in this area.

    1. The best thing I can advise is to check the vast on-line database of maps on the National Library of Scotland website. Also, look thru some of the articles and books in the West Yorkshire bibliography section on this website. There’s plenty to go at.

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