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Anglo-Saxon cemetery 150m east of Easterford Mill

A Scheduled Monument in Feering, Essex

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Coordinates

Latitude: 51.8389 / 51°50'20"N

Longitude: 0.7118 / 0°42'42"E

OS Eastings: 586916.28211

OS Northings: 219067.744258

OS Grid: TL869190

Mapcode National: GBR QKV.LSM

Mapcode Global: VHKG8.914L

Entry Name: Anglo-Saxon cemetery 150m east of Easterford Mill

Scheduled Date: 4 August 1995

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1013515

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24866

County: Essex

Civil Parish: Feering

Built-Up Area: Kelvedon

Traditional County: Essex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Essex

Church of England Parish: Inworth All Saints

Church of England Diocese: Chelmsford

Details

The monument includes part of an Anglo-Saxon cemetery situated on the river
gravels which rise to the east of the River Blackwater, overlooking the
valley.
The cemetery includes at least four ring ditches with central graves. These
are visible as cropmarks revealed by aerial photography. Originally these
burials had earthwork mounds over the central graves, the material for the
mounds being derived from the surrounding ditches. Further flat burials
between the ring ditches, which were never marked by mounds, are also
indicated on aerial photographs.
The largest ring ditch lies on the western edge of the group. Cropmark
evidence indicates the presence of a central pit or grave surrounded by a
circular ditch with a diameter of c.25m. The northernmost ring ditch has a
central grave and a diameter of c.15m. The central ring ditch is the smallest
of the group and has a diameter of c.5m. The southernmost ring ditch has a
large, circular central pit or grave c.8m in diameter which in turn is
surrounded by a circular ditch c.18m in diameter.
Between the ring ditches, cropmarks indicate the positions of large numbers of
pits identified as flat burials. Skeletal material was recovered from the
area directly to the south west of the monument during gravel quarrying.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 10 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Beginning in the fifth century AD, there is evidence from distinctive burials
and cemeteries, new settlements, and new forms of pottery and metalwork, of
the immigration into Britain of settlers from northern Europe, bringing with
them new religious beliefs. The Roman towns appear to have gone into rapid
decline and the old rural settlement pattern to have been disrupted. Although
some Roman settlements and cemeteries continued in use, the native Britons
rapidly adopted many of the cultural practices of the new settlers and it soon
becomes difficult to distinguish them in the archaeological record. So-called
Anglo-Saxon cemeteries are dated to the early Anglo-Saxon period, from the
fifth to the seventh centuries AD. With the conversion to Christianity during
the late sixth and seventh centuries AD, these pagan cemeteries appear to have
been abandoned in favour of new sites, some of which have continued in use up
to the present day. Burial practices included both inhumation and cremation.
Anglo-Saxon inhumation cemeteries consist predominantly of inhumation burials
which were placed in rectangular pits in the ground, occasionally within
coffins. The bodies were normally accompanied by a range of grave goods,
including jewellery and weaponry. The cemeteries vary in size, the largest
containing several hundred burials. Around 1000 inhumation cemeteries have
been recorded in England. They represent one of our principal sources of
archaeological evidence about the Early Anglo-Saxon period, providing
information on population, social structure and ideology. All surviving
examples, other than those which have been heavily disturbed, are considered
worthy of protection.

Although ploughed over, the graves in the Anglo-Saxon cemetery east of
Easterford Mill will survive well below the ploughsoil. The cemetery combines
both flat inhumation burials and barrows. The graves and ditches will
contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the
funerary practices and social systems of the community which buried their dead
here, as well as the landscape in which the monuments were constructed.

Source: Historic England

Sources

Books and journals
The Victoria History of the County of Essex: Volume I, (1903), 327
The Victoria History of the County of Essex: Volume I, (1903)
Hull, M R, The Victoria History of the County of Essex, (1960)
Powell, W R, The Victoria History of the County of Essex, (1963)
Powell, W R, The Victoria History of the County of Essex, (1963), 150
Other
Cambridge University Collection, BXN34, (1976)
National Monument Record, SF1573-191,193,194,196,199, (1979)

Source: Historic England

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