Roylow or Rye Low is a large mound which is recorded as a barrow of uncertain date located right next to the public footpath that leads from the Staffordshire Moorlands village of Sheen to the hamlet of Brund. This barrow is in very good condition and very accessible.
Thomas Bateman examined Roylow on 21st August 1849. He described the barrow as being 35 yards in diameter and "rather more than 9ft" in height. The earth of the mound was intermixed with charcoal and layers of moss near the natural surface level.
On 2nd October 1894 Mr. J.P. Sheldon of Sheen reopened Roylow "Situated between Sheen and the Brund, three quarters of a mile to the West". He descibed the barrow as circular, about 100ft in diameter and 8ft high in the centre. A trench from West to East through the barrow revealed the upper part was of loamy clay with a few pieces of fist-sized sandstone within it. Below this and about a foot from the natural surface there was at the commencement of the trench "a thin stratum of ferruginous earth more or less hardened by the action of fire", apparently continuous throughout the barrow.
Beneath this were at least two layers of sods laid in irregular courses. In the centre of the mound were layers and vein like ramifications of some kind of sedimentary matter, bright blue in colour. Below this in the central region was a pasty sort of clay about 1ft in thickness containing many white nodules which Sheldon concluded were fragments of bone in a soft decomposed state but he could not say if the remains were human.
Roylow survives as a large bowl-shaped mound 33.5m in diameter and 1.9m high with no visible ditch. A single, now quite large tree sits on top of the mound and appears to sit in a slight depression on the summit of the mound.
Roylow is marked on OS Landranger 119 and OS Explorer OL24 by a Tumulus label and Earthwork symbol.
Site visited:- 6th May 2013.
Scheduled Ancient Monument No.=1008962. Scheduled as Rye Low bowl barrow. NMR No.=SK16 SW3, R.S.M. No.=22404