Site of Saxon Cemetery on Pleasant Hill, Burton Dassett.

Description of this historic site

The site of an Anglo Saxon cemetery, dating to the Migration or Early Medieval period. About 35 individuals were found. Some of them were buried with objects which included various pots and a seax. The cemetery was located on Pleasant Hill, Burton Dassett.

Notes about this historic site

1 1908. The remains of about 35 skeletons were discovered on the summit of Mount Pleasant by men quarrying for ironstone. According to the manager, the bodies, with one exception, appeared to have been laid in 2 trenches, the head of one being towards the feet of the other. They were buried in about 1m of gravelly soil. The trenches were due E and W, and the bodies had ‘feet towards the dawn’. In two instances they were buried side by side. According to the workmen one skull was found about 2m from the rest of the body. Another had been battered in and had a hole pierced with a weapon of some sort. Most of the skeletons were re-interred near the spot where they were discovered. In one of the trenches were found two kinds of pottery; some of these were of thick reddish brown ware and formed pots of some considerable size, the other kind was rather finer and black [photo in source]. The pottery was dated AD 500-700. About 7m N of the trenches at a depth of 1.2m were the remains of a man grasping a rusty iron weapon. The iron weapon was identified as a seax. Suggested as casualties of a battle in the area though reference also made to burials fdiscovered at nearby ‘Gallows/Gibbett Hill’.
2 Leeds had a sketch of an unpublished scramasax, 2.5cm wide, 35.5cm long, found in a grave on the hills at Burton Dassett.
3 Pottery and seax in Warwick Museum.
4 Parts of an Anglo-Saxon pot and iron seax are in Warwick Museum. The skeletons are said to have been exported to America as soldiers slain in the battle of Edge Hill!
5 The seax and fragments of at least 2 Anglo-Saxon pots are in the Warwick Museum stores. The Saxon sherds are the finer black wares mentioned in ref 1. There are also fragments of 2 probable Iron Age pots which are the thick reddish brown ware (PRN 6186).
6 The 2 probable Iron Age pots mentioned in 5 are Anglo Saxon.
7 Letters relating to the sceax.

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