Ancient Monuments

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Two Saxon burial mounds on Gally Hills, west of Brighton Road

A Scheduled Monument in Banstead Village, Surrey

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.3321 / 51°19'55"N

Longitude: -0.2075 / 0°12'26"W

OS Eastings: 524975.536179

OS Northings: 160746.302214

OS Grid: TQ249607

Mapcode National: GBR CM.SFG

Mapcode Global: VHGRQ.CS56

Entry Name: Two Saxon burial mounds on Gally Hills, west of Brighton Road

Scheduled Date: 17 March 1926

Last Amended: 10 March 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008054

English Heritage Legacy ID: 23034

County: Surrey

Electoral Ward/Division: Banstead Village

Built-Up Area: Ewell

Traditional County: Surrey

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Surrey

Church of England Parish: Banstead

Church of England Diocese: Guildford

Details

The monument includes two of a group of four Saxon burial mounds or hlaews,
aligned broadly east-west and situated on the crest of a gentle rise at the
summit of Banstead Downs, in an area of undulating sands and gravels.
The two hlaews have earthen mounds, the western 13m in diameter and 0.7m high,
the eastern 15m across and 1.2m high. Both are surrounded by ditches from
which material was quarried during their construction. These are no longer
visible at ground level, having become infilled over the years but survive as
buried features c.2m wide.
The name "Gally Hills" comes from the use of the mounds for gallows during the
16th century. The eastern of the two mounds in the group was partially
excavated in 1972. Five intrusive or later skeletons were found and are
believed to be the victims of the gallows. The central rectangular primary
grave contained an extended inhumation with a bronze hanging bowl, a shield-
boss, a split socketed iron spear-head and an iron knife. The mound was built
on a prepared platform of broken flints.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

A hlaew is a burial monument of Anglo-Saxon or Viking date and comprising a
hemispherical mound of earth and redeposited bedrock constructed over a
primary burial or burials. These were usually inhumations, buried in a grave
cut into the subsoil beneath the mound, but cremations placed on the old
ground surface beneath the mound have also been found. Hlaews may occur
in pairs or in small groups; a few have accompanying flat graves. Constructed
during the pagan Saxon and Viking periods for individuals of high rank, they
served as visible and ostentatious markers of their social position. Some
were associated with territorial claims and appear to have been specifically
located to mark boundaries. They often contain objects which give information
on the range of technological skill and trading contacts of the period. Only
between 50 and 60 hlaews have been positively identified in England. As a
rare monument class all positively identified examples are considered worthy
of preservation.

Despite partial excavation of one of the mounds, the hlaews on Gally Hills,
west of Brighton Road survive comparatively well. Along with the two adjacent
hlaews to the north, which are the subject of a separate scheduling, they
form an important group containing archaeological remains and environmental
evidence relating both to the barrow mounds and the landscape in which they
were constructed and later re-used.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Barfoot, J, Price-Williams, D, 'Surrey Archaeological Society Res.' in The Saxon Barrow at Gally Hills, Banstead Downs, , Vol. 3, (1976), 60-76
Grinsell, L V, 'Surrey Archaeological Collections' in Surrey Barrows 1934-1987: A Reappraisal, (1987), 28-29

Source: Historic England

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