Monument record CAC 016 - Anglo-Saxon Settlement and Cemetery, Swallowfields, Bloodmoor Hill

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Excavations revealed dense Saxon cemetery and settlement remains including Grubenhauser, Post built structures, middens, pits, a cemetery and evidence of industrial activity.


Grid reference Centred TM 5194 8995 (180m by 244m)
Map sheet TM58NW


Type and Period (9)

Full Description

Excavations in 1998-2000 revealed 6-8th century Saxon dense settlement remains including Grubenhauser, post built structures, middens, pits and a cemetery. Also evidence of industrial activity (S1). Early Saxon finds include 2 mould fragments for annular brooches, 138 crucible fragments (with limited copper alloy droplets), tyrere fragments and 56 kg of smithing slag. Middle Saxon finds include Ipswich ware and coin of circa 690-720. For published details of excavations see (S2). See (S6) for more details.

The four phases of excavation revealed 37 SFBs have been identified, the principal alignment of the buildings is west-southwest to east-northeast. Some show clear evidence of internal supports or linings. Some show additional repair posts. The sizes of the main SFBs vary from 3.8x3.2m up o 6.4x5.1m. The SFBs contained 43% of the total finds assemblage for the site, including unfired clay loom weights. At least eight post-built buildings were identified. The structures fall within a well-defined and discrete area 90mx50m, overlapping with the area of the largest SFB. The post-built buildings appear to be laid out along a narrow "street" running east/west, parallel to the Romano-British trackway to the north. Whereas the SFBs occur right across the site, the post-buildings are confined to this area. A cemetery of 24 west-east aligned graves lies within the settlement, with two further graves (one double burial) lay 50m to the east within the settlement area. Seven graves were furnished and finds include a keystone garnet disc brooch, girdle hangers, bean-in-wire pendants, bead necklaces and the remains of a casket. The grave goods would date the inhumations, very broadly, to the mid-late 7th century. Middens and spreads were preserved at the northern end of the site. A considerable number of pits were revealed, some of which had a close spatial proximity to the SFBs. Four hearths or oven bases have been identified. The assemblage of Anglo-Saxon pottery is one of the largest domestic assemblages excavated in East Anglia, with 6,381 sherds, mostly undecorated, 1/3 of which were recovered from the SFBs (S8).

Also saxon cruciform brooch found metal-detecting 2000 (S3).

1999: A magnetic susceptibility survey recorded activity indicating the deposition of fire enhanced materials/soils and possibly in-situ burning (S7).

2005: Anaysis of the crucibles showed they had been used to melt copper alloys (S4).

2005: Analysis of artefacts from a late Anglo-Saxon cemetery and associated settlement. Many illustrations of X-ray images and miccrographs are used to explain the function and materials used in selected objects and corroded groups, including in-depth studies of a keystone garnet inlaid brooch, a purse group and the reconstruction of a small padlock casket (S5).

See also MSF19104 Prehistoric ditch and worked flint, MSF19105 for 1st-2nd century Roman field system, MSF19106 Medieval and post-medieval enclosure ditches and quarry.

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <S1> Excavation archive: Suffolk Archaeological Service. Excavation Report. Mortimer, R, CAU. CAC 014 Assessment report, 386. Aug 2000.
  • <S2> Bibliographic reference: Lucy S., Tipper, J. and Dickens, A.. 2009. The Anglo-Saxon Settlement and Cemetery at Bloodmoor Hill, Carlton Colville, Suffolk.
  • <S3> Digital archive: Suffolk County Council Archaeological Service. Portable Antiquities Database. Durbridge, P. per Geake, H (SCCAS).
  • <S4> Unpublished document: Blakelock E. 2005. Qualitative Analysis of the Crucibles from, Bloodmoor Hill, Carlton Colville, Suffolk.
  • <S5> Unpublished document: Skinner L, Schaeder U, and Moujoud T. 2005. Investigative conservation of Anglo-Saxon finds from Bloodmoor Hill, Carlton Colville, suffolk.
  • <S6> Article in serial: Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History. Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology and History. PSIAH 39 (3), p.367.
  • <S7> Unpublished document: Challands, A.. 1999. Report on the Magnetic Susceptibility Survey at Bloodmoor Hill, Carlton Colville, Suffolk.
  • <S8> Unpublished document: Mortimer, R.. 2000. An Interim Statement, Excavation of the Early Anglo-Saxon Settlement 1998-2000, Bloodmoor Hill, Carlton Colville.

Finds (11)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (6)

Record last edited

May 14 2018 12:17PM

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