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Hlaew and settlement remains at Croxall

A Scheduled Monument in Edingale, Staffordshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 52.7199 / 52°43'11"N

Longitude: -1.7079 / 1°42'28"W

OS Eastings: 419825.894631

OS Northings: 313625.296843

OS Grid: SK198136

Mapcode National: GBR 4DF.F1J

Mapcode Global: WHCGJ.QWXQ

Entry Name: Hlaew and settlement remains at Croxall

Scheduled Date: 8 October 1993

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1011069

English Heritage Legacy ID: 21536

County: Staffordshire

Civil Parish: Edingale

Traditional County: Derbyshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Staffordshire

Church of England Parish: Croxall cum Oakley St John Baptist

Church of England Diocese: Derby

Details

The monument includes the hlaew or Anglo-Saxon burial mound, its encircling
ditch and the remains of medieval settlement. It is situated approximately 30m
east of St John The Baptist's Church, Croxall.
The burial mound has been built in a prominent location, on the edge of the
east bank of the River Mease. It measures 32m in diameter and stands to a
height of approximately 5m on its northern side. The surrounding ditch has
been infilled and is no longer visible on the ground surface. The mound has
been partly overlaid, on its north-eastern edge, by the adjacent churchyard,
confirming that the burial mound pre-dates the layout of the churchyard. The
churchyard itself is not included within the scheduling. There is a trackway
at the western edge of the mound which overlies the eastern part of the
infilled ditch. A large depression in the north-east quadrant of the mound is
thought to represent an earlier investigation of the mound which occurred in
the early 19th century and located human skeletal material, indicating that
the site is a burial mound, probably of Anglo-Saxon date. The mound has since
been incorporated into a garden and re-used as an ornamental feature. A spiral
path which cuts slightly into the sides of the mound provides a walkway around
the edge of the monument.
Immediately to the north of the burial mound are earthwork remains of the
medieval and later settlement of Croxall. The medieval settlement originally
extended eastwards along the hill top for several hundred metres although
much of the site has been modified by modern ploughing and by the creation of
a garden for White Knights House.
The surviving earthwork remains include a deep hollow way which runs across
the site from north-east to south-west, heading from the centre of the village
towards the church and forking around the burial mound, with the southern fork
heading down the hill slope, towards the river. To either side of the hollow
way, leading up to the fork, stand pronounced building platforms, two to the
north and one to the south. These platforms may represent the sites of
dwellings or of major agricultural buildings. The close physical and
archaeological relationship of the burial mound to the settlement which has
grown up around it is of particular interest.
The fence posts, surfaces of paths and the timber-edged steps on the burial
mound are excluded from the scheduling, but the ground beneath these features
is included.

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.

The monument at Croxall survives well and contains a range of important
archaeological features. The hlaew at Croxall is a rare example of this class
of monument in Staffordshire and the way in which it dominates the site
suggests that the relationship between the hlaew, the later parish church and
settlement remains will be of particular interest. The settlement remains
themselves will contain evidence for dwellings and agricultural buildings
which will allow an understanding of the date and character of settlement
here.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
Usher, R, An Historical Sketch of the Parish of Croxall, (1881), 19

Source: Historic England

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