Ancient Monuments

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Anglo-Saxon burial mound immediately north of Over Worton church graveyard

A Scheduled Monument in Worton, Oxfordshire

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Latitude: 51.9601 / 51°57'36"N

Longitude: -1.3756 / 1°22'32"W

OS Eastings: 442999.073381

OS Northings: 229249.236049

OS Grid: SP429292

Mapcode National: GBR 7V4.11J

Mapcode Global: VHCWM.3ZMS

Entry Name: Anglo-Saxon burial mound immediately north of Over Worton church graveyard

Scheduled Date: 23 March 1949

Last Amended: 14 October 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1009414

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21810

County: Oxfordshire

Civil Parish: Worton

Traditional County: Oxfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Oxfordshire

Church of England Parish: Over with Nether Worton

Church of England Diocese: Oxford


The monument includes an Anglo-Saxon burial mound or `hlaew', situated on
the northern edge of the graveyard at Over Worton. The site occupies a hill
with gentle slopes to the north and east and a steeper slope to the west.
The monument includes a flat topped conical mound made of earth and stone. The
mound measures 18m in diameter and stands up to 2m high. Surrounding the mound
is a quarry ditch from which material was obtained during its construction.
This has become partially infilled over time but remains visible at ground
level as a shallow feature 2m wide and c.0.3m deep. The ditch has become
obscured by leaf litter on the eastern side of the mound but will survive as a
buried feature.
The barrow and the nearby church lie at the centre of an extensive medieval
field system, much of which is visible as earthworks.

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.

The hlaew immediately north of Over Worton church graveyard is a well
preserved example of its class and will contain archaeological and
environmental evidence relating to its construction and the landscape in which
it was built. It is one of a number of such monuments in West Oxfordshire and
is of interest because of its association with the later church and graveyard
which were built immediately to the south.

Source: Historic England


All material, C.A.O., Over Worton Round Barrow - detailed records file, (1972)
ASTON REF: on PRN 2287, C.A.O., Over Worton Round Barrow, (1972)
Discussion of proposal and all data, JEFFERY, P.P., Discussion with County Archaeologist Mr Paul Smith, (1993)
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:10000 Series
Source Date: 1980
SP 42 NW

Source: Historic England

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