Ancient Monuments

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High Field hlaew

A Scheduled Monument in Litton, Derbyshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 53.2479 / 53°14'52"N

Longitude: -1.7488 / 1°44'55"W

OS Eastings: 416858.962162

OS Northings: 372352.884444

OS Grid: SK168723

Mapcode National: GBR JZ7W.5F

Mapcode Global: WHCD0.3MHF

Entry Name: High Field hlaew

Scheduled Date: 10 June 1970

Last Amended: 4 January 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008818

English Heritage Legacy ID: 13385

County: Derbyshire

Civil Parish: Litton

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Derbyshire

Church of England Parish: Longstone St Giles

Church of England Diocese: Derby

Details

High Field hlaew, or Anglian burial mound, is situated on Lapwing Hill which
is part of the limestone plateau of Derbyshire and forms a promontory between
Miller's Dale and Monsal Dale. The monument includes a sub-circular barrow
measuring 17m by 14.5m and standing c.1m high. Originally it would have been
more uniformly circular and slightly higher but ploughing in the past has
altered the profile somewhat. In 1850 Thomas Bateman carried out a partial
excavation of the barrow and found it to be of earthen construction with a
central rock-cut grave which contained an extended inhumation which had been
laid upon animal hides on a wooden bier or coffin. To the left was an iron
sword with a sheath of thin wood covered in decorated leather, and a short
iron knife which lay under the hilt of the sword. Above the right shoulder of
the body were two iron spear points while, among the stones that filled the
grave, about a foot from the bottom, were many iron objects of uncertain use
but including clenched iron nails which would have been part of the coffin or
bier. These remains indicate that the barrow was built in c.AD600.

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

Hlaews are pre-Christian burial monuments of Anglo-Saxon or Viking date and
may be found singly or in small groups. Typically they are constructed of
earth and usually comprise a low hemispherical mound or a combination of
mound, inner ditch and outer bank covering one or more burials which may be
inhumations, cremations or both. Most hlaews contain rich grave-goods,
indicating the high status of the occupants, and these goods date Anglian
hlaews to the late sixth and early seventh centuries AD and Viking hlaews to
the ninth century. There are only between fifty and sixty authenticated
hlaews recorded nationally, with particular concentrations in the Peak
District and Wiltshire. They are one of a restricted range of monuments from
the Anglian and Viking periods and contain evidence not only of burial customs
and craft skills but also of colonisation and settlement patterns. Because of
this, and due to their extreme rarity, all hlaews exhibiting good survival are
considered to be of national importance. Although the centre of High Field
hlaew has been disturbed by excavation, it is still a well-preserved example
and retains substantial areas of intact archaeological remains.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Barnatt, J, The Peak District Barrow Survey (1989), (1989)
Barnatt, J, The Peak District Barrow Survey (1989), (1989)
Bateman, T, Ten Years Diggings in Celtic and Saxon Grave-Hills, (1861), 68-70
Marsden, B M, The Burial Mounds of Derbyshire , (1977), 25
Meaney, A L S, Gazetteer of Early Anglo-Saxon Burial Sites, (1964)
Fowler, M J, 'Derbyshire Archaeological Journal' in Anglian Settlement of the Peak, , Vol. 74, (1954), 150
Lucas, J F, 'The Reliquary' in The Reliquary, (1867)

Source: Historic England

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