This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

Part of an Anglo-Saxon inhumation cemetery at Manor Cottages

List Entry Summary

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 Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Part of an Anglo-Saxon inhumation cemetery at Manor Cottages

List entry Number: 1010700

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: East Sussex

District: Wealden

District Type: District Authority

Parish: Selmeston

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 26-Jan-1995

Date of most recent amendment: Not applicable to this List entry.

Legacy System Information

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

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 27009

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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.

Although it has been partially disturbed by 19th century and modern construction work, the Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Manor Cottages survives comparatively well, and has been shown by partial excavation to contain archaeological remains and environmental evidence relating to the monument and the landscape in which it was constructed. A further Anglo-Saxon cemetery and a number of Anglo-Saxon burial mounds are situated on the Sussex Downs within c.4km of the monument. These monuments are broadly contemporary and their close association illustrates the relatively dense early Anglo-Saxon settlement of East Sussex. The location of the cemetery within the village of Selmeston, close to the extant medieval church, will provide evidence for the (as yet) little understood relationship between early Anglo-Saxon and later medieval settlement and burial practices.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument includes part of an Anglo-Saxon inhumation cemetery situated in the Low Weald of East Sussex, in the lee of the Sussex Downs. The cemetery, which dates to the period between the fifth and early seventh centuries AD, has been estimated, by analogy with similar examples, to contain at least 100 east-west aligned, rectangular graves. These survive at a depth of c.1.5m beneath the present ground surface. The cemetery was discovered during the construction of Manor Cottages in 1897 when at least two graves were disturbed. These burials were accompanied by a rich assemblage of grave goods including swords, spears, glass vessels and a fragment of a gilt saucer brooch. Subsequent partial excavations carried out in 1950, 1963 and during the 1970s have uncovered a further 43 graves, all except two of which were found to contain male burials. Soil stains found in the graves indicated that at least some of the bodies were originally buried in wooden coffins, although these had disintegrated over the years. Manor Cottages, all associated outbuildings, structures and steps, the modern surfaces of all paths, and all modern walls and fences are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath all these features is included.

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

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Griffith, A F, Salzmann, L F, 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in An Anglo-Saxon Cemetery at Alfriston, Sussex, , Vol. 56, (1914), 16-53
Rudling, D, 'Sussex Archaeological Collections' in Recent Archaeological Research at Selmeston, East Sussex, , Vol. 123, (1985), 1-25
Welch, M, 'BAR' in Early Anglo-Saxon Sites in Sussex, (1980), 389-390
Other
Brown, M, in letter from M Brown ESCC to Dr Schofield IAM 08.04.94, (1994)
Source F1 PAS, RCHME, TQ 50 NW 10, 3138, (1972)
Welch, M, Telephone conversation between R Parker and M Welch 23.05.1994, (1994)

National Grid Reference: TQ 51051 07176

Map

Map
© Crown Copyright and database right 2018. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2018. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
Use of this data is subject to Terms and Conditions.

The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1010700 .pdf

The PDF will be generated from our live systems and may take a few minutes to download depending on how busy our servers are. We apologise for this delay.

This copy shows the entry on 20-Jun-2018 at 11:47:37.

End of official listing