Record Details

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


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


Grid Reference:TF 8181 0855
Map Sheet:TF80NW

Full description

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

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 (S3 ) for further details.
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).

Found on the Paddocks site 'in the early days before NAU involvement' with a skeleton.
Annular brooch and two Early Saxon beads.
Identified from drawings by A. Rogerson.
Donated to Swaffham Museum by anonymous finder. Other material said to be in private possession.
See letter and drawings in file.
E. Rose (NAU), 22 February 1988.

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

---Illustration: Unknown. 1988. Drawing of Early Saxon beads.. Card. 2:3.
---Illustration: Unknown. 1988. Drawing of an Early Saxon annular brooch.. Paper. 2:1.
---Archive: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Early Saxon. Swaffham [2].
---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.
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
<S1>Monograph: Hills, C. & Wade-Martins, P.. 1976. The Anglo-Saxon Cemetery at the Paddocks, Swaffham.. East Anglian Archaeology. Vol.
<S2>Article in serial: Wilson, D. M. & Hurst, D. G. 1971. Medieval Britain in 1969. Medieval Archaeology. Vol XIV (for 1970) pp 155-208. p161.
<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. p130.

Related records - none

Find out more...

Norfolk County Council logo Heritage Lottery Fund logo

Powered by HBSMR-web and the HBSMR Gateway from exeGesIS SDM Ltd, and mojoPortal CMS
© 2007 - 2019 Norfolk Historic Environment Service