Claughton hlaew in Sandhole Wood


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1018918

Date first listed: 19-Mar-1999


Ordnance survey map of Claughton hlaew in Sandhole Wood
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This copy shows the entry on 12-Dec-2018 at 16:22:33.


The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Lancashire

District: Wyre (District Authority)

Parish: Claughton

National Grid Reference: SD 51282 42472


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

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.

Bowl 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 or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple burials. They are a major historic element in the modern landscape and their considerable variation of form and longevity as a monument type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social organisation amongst early prehistoric communities. Despite being disturbed by a combination of road construction, sand quarrying and tree root activity, Claughton hlaew still survives as a low earthwork. Disturbance during the 19th century revealed human remains together with objects of metal, wood and stone, and further evidence of interments and grave goods will exist within the mound and upon the old landsurface beneath.


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


The monument includes Claughton hlaew in Sandhole Wood, a 10th century AD Viking burial mound. It is constructed of sand and measures approximately 17m east-west by 13m north-south and up to 0.3m high. A ditch which is considered to have originally surrounded the mound still survives as an earthwork 3m wide by 0.1m deep on its south side; on its east and north sides this ditch has been infilled whilst on its south side it has been destroyed by sand quarrying. The mound was disturbed during construction of a new road in 1822. It was found to contain a wooden box within which was an iron axe and hammer, an iron sword and spearhead, a perforated stone axe-hammer, and a wooden case containing an ornamental metal box within which was a brooch, beads and a tooth. Antiquarian reports stated that a cinerary urn containing a cremation was also found but that the urn was not preserved, suggesting that the hlaew may originally have been a prehistoric bowl barrow reused during the 10th century. All fence posts are excluded from the scheduling, although the ground beneath these features is included.

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


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

Legacy System number: 27843

Legacy System: RSM


SMR No. 119, Lancashire SMR, Claughton Hall, (1984)

End of official listing