Anglo-Saxon cemetery, Dane Valley Road
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1003601
Date first listed: 23-Mar-1978
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This copy shows the entry on 18-Oct-2018 at 21:02:00.
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Thanet (District Authority)
Parish: Broadstairs and St. Peters
National Grid Reference: TR 37455 69321
Anglo-Saxon inhumation cemetery.
Reasons for Designation
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.
Despite some disturbance in the past, the Anglo-Saxon inhumation cemetery 260m north-east of Sunnyside survives well. The limits of the cemetery are not yet known and as such it retains a potential for the recovery of further burials and grave goods.
The location of the cemetery on the site of earlier Bronze Age round barrows enhances its significance. Round barrows are funerary monuments dating from the Late Neolithic period to the Late Bronze Age, with most examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 BC. They were constructed as earthen mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often acted as a focus of burials in later periods, such may be the case at this site north-west of Broadstairs. The monument will contain archaeological and environmental information relating to the Bronze Age round barrows, the Anglo-Saxon cemetery and the material culture of those buried and the landscape in which the cemetery was constructed.
This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
The monument includes an Anglo-Saxon inhumation cemetery surviving as buried archaeological remains. It is situated on gently sloping ground between Broadley Road and Shallows Road, north-west of Broadstairs.
The cemetery is located on the site of earlier Bronze Age round barrows, now largely levelled, although at least one is thought to survive.. Partial excavation of the Anglo-Saxon cemetery has uncovered 388 inhumations, many with associated grave goods, although a large number are thought to have suffered from contemporary grave robbing. The burials are aligned in rows and are orientated north-west to south-east. Over half the graves have structural features including penannular ditches and external ditches or slots. The site has only been part-excavated and the cemetery is likely to contain further, as yet, unrecorded burials.
The cemetery was partially excavated in 1969-71. The grave goods included pottery, brooches, beads, weapons and glassware, dating from the mid sixth century to the mid eighth century AD.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: KE 316
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
Kent HER TR 36 NE 60. NMR TR 36 NE 60, TR 36 NE 133, TR 36 NE 57. PastScape 468966, 469049, 468961,
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing