Record Details

NHER Number:3781
Type of record:Monument
Name:Early Saxon cremation cemetery

Summary

This is the site of a large Early Saxon cremation cemetery, discovered in the mid 19th century. Cremation urns, Early Saxon brooches and other metalwork, and cremated human remains have been found on the site during excavations in the 19th and 20th centuries, and by metal detecting. Prehistoric flints and Roman, medieval and post medieval metalwork and pottery have also been found.

Images

  • An Early Saxon ear scoop from the Early Saxon cemetery at Castle Acre.  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service. NWHCM 1962.50.2:A

Location

Grid Reference:Not displayed
Map Sheet:TF71NE
Parish:CASTLE ACRE, WEST NORFOLK, NORFOLK
WESTACRE, WEST NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

Large Early Saxon cremation cemetery with Roman material.

1857.
Cemetery first discovered when between 20 and 30 urns were found containing cremated human bones.

1877.
Four urns found.

1891.
Excavation; 50 urns were found, with copper alloy cruciform brooches, iron knives, copper alloy needles, glass beads, bone gaming pieces and other Early Saxon and late Roman finds.
See published article (S1) for futher details.
Finds recovered as this site during the late 19th century are now held by a number of museums, including the Norwich Castle Museum. An urn with cremated bones, red and green fused beads and a cruciform brooch fragment are known to be part of The Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle Upon Tyne's archaeological collection. These objects are noted in several of the society's publications, including (S5) (where they are mistakenly recorded as being from Castle Rising) and were amongst material held at the Black Gate during the time it was a operated as a museum. See sketch of brooch (S3), which is now apparently in the "Newcastle University Museum" (presumably along with the other finds from Castle Acre).

1961. Field Observation and Excavation.
Ploughing revealed many sherds of an Anglo-Saxon cremation-urns, fragments of grave-goods and cremated bone from the Castle Acre cemetery.
Subsequent excavation of Westacre section by Norfolk Research Committee revealed over 20 urn-cremations, some with grave-goods. There were at least two urns which were in cists, it was noted that a few of the cremation pots were sub-Roman in type. Cremated bones were also recovered.
Remains of two iron brooches of NW. German type have been recently recognized amongst the material obtained from this cemetery in the 19th century (NCM).
See (S2) for short summary.
M. Langham-Lopez (HES), 25 February 2013.


1980.
Surface find of iron shield boss.

1985.
Fieldwalking produced Early Saxon, Roman, medieval and post medieval pottery.

1989. Metal detecting.
Early Saxon and medieval pottery and Early Saxon brooches.

1990.
Found with metal detecting.
Early Saxon brooches (S4) and spearhead, Roman and Late Saxon metalwork

1991 or before.
Early Saxon pin and escutcheon.

1992. Metal detecting finds.
Early Saxon metalwork, Roman brooch and coins, bulla.

1994. Found with metald etecting.
Early Saxon metalwork.

1994/1996.
Flint blade, Early Saxon sherds, Early Saxon brooches.
Roman coin. medieval and post medieval metal finds.

1997/1998.
Early Saxon brooch, medieval harness pendant and vessel.
Metalworking debris.

1998.
Early Saxon sherds, see record under NHER 33682.

Full description, drawings and details in file.
Bibliography in file.
A. Rogerson (NLA) 1 June 1999.

Monument Types

  • CIST (Early Saxon - 410 AD to 650 AD)
  • CREMATION (Early Saxon - 410 AD to 650 AD)
  • CREMATION CEMETERY (Early Saxon - 410 AD to 650 AD)

Associated Finds

  • METAL WORKING DEBRIS (Undated)
  • POT (Undated)
  • BLADE (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • LITHIC IMPLEMENT (Early Neolithic - 4000 BC to 3001 BC)
  • BROOCH (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • COIN (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • POT (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • VESSEL (Roman - 43 AD to 409 AD)
  • ANIMAL REMAINS (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • BEAD (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • BOW BROOCH (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • BROOCH (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • BROOCH (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • BROOCH (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • BUCKET (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • CEREMONIAL OBJECT (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • COMB (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • GAMING PIECE (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • GIRDLE HANGER (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • KNIFE (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • MINIATURE OBJECT (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • MIRROR (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • NEEDLE (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • PIN (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • POT (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • POT (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)
  • SPEAR (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • SPINDLE WHORL (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • STRAP FITTING (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • STRAP FITTING (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • STRAP FITTING (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • STUD (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • TOILET ARTICLE (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Early Saxon - 411 AD to 650 AD)
  • RING (Late Saxon - 851 AD to 1065 AD)
  • BUCKLE (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • BULL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • COIN (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HARNESS FITTING (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PADLOCK (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • PENDANT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • POT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • STUD (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • VESSEL (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)
  • HARNESS FITTING (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • POT (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status

  • SHINE
  • Higher Level Stewardship

Sources and further reading

---Photograph: NCM negs M1817 - M1824, VV 33-4, P17-22, FTM 1-2. POL 31.
---Article in Serial: Clarke, R. R. and Myres, J. N. L. 1939. Norfolk in the Dark Ages, 400-800 A.D., Part I. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XXVII, Pt II pp 163- 214.
---Record Card: Ordnance Survey Staff. 1933-1979?. Ordnance Survey Record Cards. TF 71 NE 9.
---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Photograph: 1991. LBR 1-2, Early Saxon small long brooch..
---Photograph: 1991. LBR 3-4, Early Saxon cruciform brooch..
---Photograph: 1991. LBR 5, Early Saxon cruciform brooch knob..
---Photograph: 1991. LBR 6-7, Early Saxon square headed brooch fragment..
---Photograph: 1991. LBR 8-9, Early Saxon wrist clasp..
---Photograph: 1991. LBR 10, Early Saxon cruciform brooch fragment..
---Photograph: 1991. LBR 11-12, Early Saxon small long brooch fragment..
---Photograph: 1991. LBR 13, Early Saxon cruciform brooch fragment..
---Photograph: 1991. LBR 14-15, Early Saxon cruciform brooch fragments..
---Photograph: 1991. LBR 16-17, Early Saxon burnt brooch fragment..
---Photograph: 1991. LBR 18-20, Two Early Saxon brooch fragments..
---Photograph: 1991. LBR 21-22, Three Early Saxon burnt brooch fragments..
---Photograph: 1991. LBR 23-24, Five Early Saxon brooch fragments..
---Photograph: 1991. LBR 26-27, Medieval gilt stud..
---Photograph: 1991. LBR 28-31, Alcuster type brooch..
---Serial: 1961. Council for British Archaeology Group 7 Bulletin of Archaeological Discoveries for 1961. No 8. p 2.
---Record Card: Clarke, R. R. and NCM Staff. 1933-1973. Norwich Castle Museum Record Card - Early Saxon. Castle Acre [4].
---Article in Serial: 1963. Archaeological Discoveries in Norfolk, 1961. Norfolk Research Committee Bulletin. Series 1 No 14 (for 1961 and 1962) pp 1-3. p 2.
---Photograph: 1994. LDS 5-7, Wrist clasp..
---Photograph: 1994. LDS 8-9, Cruciform brooch knob..
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Collection: Norfolk Historic Environment Record Staff. 1975-[2000]. HER Record Notes. Norfolk Historic Environment Service.
<S1>Article in Serial: Housman, H. 1895. Exploration of an Anglo-Saxon Cemetery in the Parish of Castleacre, Norfolk. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XII pp 100-104.
<S2>Article in Serial: Wilson, D. M. and Hurst, D. G. 1964. Medieval Britain in 1961. Medieval Archaeology. Vol VI-VII (for 1962 and 1963) pp 306-349. p 309.
<S3>Illustration: [Unknown]. [Unknown]. Sketch of an Early Saxon copper alloy brooch fragment. Paper. 1:1.
<S4>Illustration: Gurney, D. 1991. Sketch of an Early Saxon copper alloy Alchester style brooch. Paper. 2:1.
<S5>Article in Serial: Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Newcastle Upon Tyne. Vol IV. p 276.

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