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Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Chalton Peak

A Scheduled Monument in Clanfield, Hampshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.9392 / 50°56'21"N

Longitude: -0.9555 / 0°57'19"W

OS Eastings: 473486.707852

OS Northings: 116047.406505

OS Grid: SU734160

Mapcode National: GBR CD1.57X

Mapcode Global: FRA 86WM.HL1

Entry Name: Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Chalton Peak

Scheduled Date: 24 February 2004

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021292

English Heritage Legacy ID: 33410

County: Hampshire

Civil Parish: Clanfield

Traditional County: Hampshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Hampshire

Church of England Parish: Chalton

Church of England Diocese: Portsmouth

Details

The monument includes the known extent of the buried remains of the pagan
Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Chalton Peak. The cemetery, which is situated on
chalk Downland east of Chalton village, was identified through metal
detecting in 2002, when a shield boss, spear heads and other fittings were
discovered. The site was further investigated in February 2003 by means of
a magnometry survey, revealing a large number of geophysical anomalies,
which were interpreted as the locations of graves. A small scale
excavation followed leading to the discovery of an inhumation burial
contaning the skeleton of a female aged 25 or over, and traces of the
ditch fill of a second grave, which were left unexamined. The female
skeleton was aligned north-south with the head at the southern end of the
grave. The grave contained no other artifacts except a Saxon pottery
fragment in the grave fill.
The Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Chalton Peak is situated about 150m north east
of Manor Farm, where between 1967 and 1972 the remains of late Saxon
timbered structures were excavated, as well as two aisled halls of the
13th and 14th centuries, which were partly incorporated into the modern
farmhouse. Approximately 1km to the south, on Church Down, the remains of
61 separate buildings were discovered, dating to the sixth and seventh
centuries AD, suggesting that the nucleus of Chalton's settlement moved
northwards towards the location of the modern village between the seventh
and thirteenth centuries.

MAP EXTRACT
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

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.

The pagan Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Chalton Peak survives well, preserving
both human remains and artefacts. The archaeological evidence contained
within the cemetery is particularly valuable in association with that from
nearby settlements. This unique combination of evidence provides a rare
insight into the demography and spatial organization of the area during
the Saxon period.
In addition, human remains can be expected to provide information on the
Anglo-Saxon standard of living, diet and health, while artefatual evidence
will shed further light on social structure, ritual and beliefs systems,
as well as trade connections operating at the time.

Source: Historic England

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