Site of Saxon Cemetery to SE of Bransford Bridge

Description of this historic site

The site of an Anglo-Saxon cemetery dating to the Migration period. Inhumations and one cremation urn were found during an excavation. Brooches and spearheads were amongst the artefacts found. The cemetery was located to the north east of Churchover.

Notes about this historic site

1 Saxon burial ground found in 1824 when repairing Watling Street between Bensford (Bransford) Bridge and Pilgrims Lowe (Gibbet Hill).
2 The skeletons were buried on both sides of the road and in the centre, and extended for half a mile to the SE of the bridge along the road; they were from 0.45m to 0.61m below the surface. A variety of articles, such as shield bosses, spear heads, knives, rings, buckles and pots. With the burials of women and children various types of brooch, rings, tweezers, amber and glass beads were found. Only one cremation urn was discovered. This was ornamented and closely associated with a sword and spearhead. No particular note was taken of how the weapons were placed in relation to the bodies; the shield bosses, however, appeared as if placed over the breast of the body, the spearheads near the head or shoulder, and the knives by the side.
3 The burials appear to have been found under the actual road surface. M H Bloxam had in his possession in the 1880s two pots, five shield bosses, six spearheads, other knives and rings, 50 glass, amber or clay beads, a number of brooches, clamps and other articles.
4 Various finds from this cemetery are known to have been given to Bristol Museum and the British Museum.
5 Original finds in 1823 included an iron shield-boss and spearhead probably with an interment. The majority of burials were found in 1824. The finds are now in Warwick Museum and include two very early cruciform brooches with horse-head feet.
6 Correspondence about the Bloxam collection.
7 Correspondence about items from Churchover.
8 Letter to Leicester Museum about proposed work on Watling Street.
9 Notes on the site.

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