Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Chalton Peak


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021292

Date first listed: 24-Feb-2004


Ordnance survey map of Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Chalton Peak
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Hampshire

District: East Hampshire (District Authority)

Parish: Clanfield

National Park: SOUTH DOWNS

National Grid Reference: SU 73462 16049


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.

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.


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


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

Legacy System number: 33410

Legacy System: RSM

End of official listing