Record Details

NHER Number:1125
Type of record:Monument
Name:Early Saxon inhumation cemetery

Summary

This site was excavated in the 1970s, after the discovery of human remains and Early Saxon objects in 1969. The excavation recovered a total of nineteen inhumations and one possible cremation, and two of the skulls showed signs of having received successful trepanations. Objects recovered from these graves included a gilded cruciform brooch, a necklace of amber beads, tweezers, and wrist clasps from female graves, and an iron spearhead, ferrule and buckle from a child's grave.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TF 81 08
Map Sheet:TF80NW
Parish:SWAFFHAM, BRECKLAND, NORFOLK

Full description

May 1969. Stray Find.
Two Early Saxon burials were found whilst digging a trench in Haspall road. One burial included a bronze annular brooch and the other burial included an iron spearhead and part of an iron shield boss (report on skulls by Dr. Wells)
On Loan to NCM. [1]
Information from (S2).
E. Rose (NAU). Amended M. Langham-Lopez (HES), 09 May 2013.

Before 1970. Field observation.
Found on the Paddocks site [3] with a skeleton.
Early Saxon annular brooch and two beads.
Identified from drawings by A. Rogerson. See drawings (S12).
Donated to Swaffham Museum by anonymous finder. Other material said to be in private possession.
See letter in file.
E. Rose (NAU), 22 February 1988.

August 1970. Excavation.
Carried out by P. Wade-Martins (NAU), further excavation on the site of the early Saxon inhumation-cemetery brought up the number of known burials up to twenty, many of the grave-goods indicate a 6th century. The finds are now in NCM. See sketches (S4)-(S8) and drawings (S8)-(S14).
See published report (S1) for further details. The results of this work are also summarised in (S3) and (S15). See also newspaper articles (S16)-(S21).
M. Langham-Lopez (HES), 23 May 2013.

November/December 1970 : B. Dennis & D. A. Edwards (NAU).
Further development of site 1973/4 watched by D. Edwards (NAU). No finds or evidence at all in this phase. Spoil from the 1973/4 development dumped at 'Snails Pit' Farm, near Swaffham at NGR TF 8115 0935, also at the town dump NGR TF 8085 0935.
E. Rose (NAU).

1977. In tree roots in garden. [2]
Lump of glass found- from a tuliere or kiln?. From its clarity and prismatic qualities I am inclined to date it as post 18th century.
E. Rose (NAU).

See plans, reports, lists of finds in file.

Monument Types

  • CEMETERY (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • CREMATION (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • INHUMATION (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)

Associated Finds

  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Prehistoric - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • BEAD (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • BEAD (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • BROOCH (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • BUCKLE (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • HUMAN REMAINS (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • KNIFE (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • PENDANT (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • PIN (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • POT (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • RING (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • SHIELD (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • SLEEVE CLASP (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • SPEAR (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • TEXTILE (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • TOILET ARTICLE (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • TWEEZERS (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • GLASS WORKING DEBRIS (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TF 80 NW 6.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Early Saxon. Swaffham [2].
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
<S1>Article in Monograph: Hills, C. and Wade-Martins, P. 1976. The Anglo-Saxon Cemetery at the Paddocks, Swaffham. Norfolk. East Anglian Archaeology. No 2 pp 1-44.
<S2>Article in Serial: Wilson, D. M. & Hurst, D. G. 1971. Medieval Britain in 1969. Medieval Archaeology. Vol XIV (for 1970) pp 155-208. p 161.
<S3>Article in Serial: Wilson, D. M. and Hurst, D. G. 1972. Medieval Britain in 1970. Medieval Archaeology. Vol XV (for 1971) pp 124-179. p 130.
<S4>Illustration: Dennis, B. A. [Unknown]. Sketch of an Early Saxon iron spear butt (Grave 18A), an iron knive (Grave 18C) and an iron spearhead (Grave 18I). Paper. 1:1 and 2:1.
<S5>Illustration: Dennis, B. A. [Unknown]. Sketch of an Early Saxon shield boss (Grave 18D). Paper. 1:1.
<S6>Illustration: Dennis, B. A. [Unknown]. Sketch of an Early Saxon iron spearhead (Grave 19A), an iron knife (Grave 19C) and a copper alloy buckle (Grave 19B). Paper. 1:1.
<S7>Illustration: Dennis, B. A. [Unknown]. Sketch of reconstructed Early Saxon pottery vessel. Paper. 1:1.
<S8>Illustration: [Unknown]. Unknown. Drawing of an Early Saxon copper alloy cruciform brooch (Grave 6A). Film. 1:1.
<S9>Illustration: Unknown. Unknown. Drawing of a pair of two Early Saxon copper alloy wrist clasps (Grave 1C). Card. 2:1.
<S10>Illustration: [Unknown]. Unknown. Drawing of an Early Saxon copper alloy cruciform brooch (Grave 6C). Paper. 2:1.
<S11>Illustration: [Unknown]. Unknown. Drawing of a pair of Early Saxon copper alloy wrist clasps (Grave 16E). Paper. 1:1.
<S12>Illustration: [Unknown]. 1988. Drawing of an Early Saxon copper alloy annular brooch and two beads. Paper. 1:1.
<S13>Illustration: [Unknown]. Unknown. Drawing of four Early Saxon glass beads (Grave 16D). Paper. 2:1.
<S14>Illustration: [Unknown]. Unknown. Diagrams of broken diamond twill from Grave 15: (a) on shield grip (b) on strap fitting. Film. Not to scale.
<S15>Article in Serial: Wade-Martins, P. 1972. The Anglo-Saxon Cemetery at Swaffham. Norfolk Research Committee Newsletter and Bulletin. Series 2 No 4 pp 14-15.
<S16>Newspaper Article: The Daily Telegraph. 1970. 16 Saxon skeletons unearthed. 30 November.
<S17>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1970. [Articles on the first stage of excavation at The Paddocks].
<S18>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1970. Dramatic new Saxon burial finds. 25 November.
<S19>Newspaper Article: Lynn News and Advertiser. 1970. Yet another discovery on Swaffham Saxon site. 27 November.
<S20>Newspaper Article: The Journal. 1970. More exciting Swaffham Saxon finds. 27 November.
<S21>Newspaper Article: Eastern Evening News. 1970. More Saxon finds. 24 November.

Related records - none

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