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


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Date of most recent amendment:


Ordnance survey map of Anglo-Saxon burial mound immediately north of Over Worton church graveyard
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

West Oxfordshire (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SP 42999 29249

Reasons for Designation

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.


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.

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.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


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 Author: Publisher: Surveyor: SP 42 NW


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

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