Monument record DBN 132 - Bronze Age Cremations and Early Anglo Saxon Pits at Cherry Tree Public House, Debenham

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Evaluation and excavation revealed 16 Middle bronze Age cremations both urned and un-urned, some with miltiple individuals contained within, and a number of early Anglo-Saxon pits containing hearth/oven debris.


Grid reference Centred TM 1751 6289 (78m by 61m)
Map sheet TM16SE


Type and Period (5)

Full Description

2010: An archaeological evaluation was carried out at the Cherry Tree Public House, Debenham, in advance of a small residential and commercial development. Five trenches, with a total length of 110m, were excavated across the proposed development site. Two ditches, a small number of indistinct features, which may have been postholes but were at too great a depth to safely examine, and two Bronze Age cremation burials, one of which was urned, were identified and recorded (S1).

2012: Archaeological excavation in advance of the construction of new housing at Cherrytree Inn, Debenham revealed the presence of five urned (Deverel-Rimbury urns) and five unurned cremations of middle Bronze Age date. Two radio carbon dates were obtained from cremated bone from two features and these were dated to 1425-1263 and 1417-1257. The liminal nature of the topography of the site suggests that the burials fit in with a wider noted trend in Bronze Age burial practices for cemeteries to be located on the edges of landscape features, and often in relation to rivers and/or bodies of water.
A number of pits of early Anglo-Saxon date were located with some containing domestic hearth debris and one contained a glass bead of Knoch type 34. The presence of defined features of Anglo-Saxon date is the first time that stratified remains have been identified of this period in/around Debenham and may point to further Anglo-Saxon deposits being located to the south of the present town (S2).

2014: Excavation identified a further 4 un-urned and 1 urned cremations and a medieval ditch (S3). Radiocarbon dates were taken from two bone samples and were dated to 1349 cal BC and 1235 cal BC

Radiocarbon dates for 5 samples of the cremated human bone gave dates of between 1425-1193 cal BC (S4).

Sources/Archives (4)

  • <S1> Unpublished document: Sommers, M. 2011. Archaeological Evaluation Report, Cherry Tree Public House, Debenham.
  • <S2> Unpublished document: Cass S. 2012. Archaeological Excavation Reoprt, Cherrytree Inn, Debenham.
  • <S3> Unpublished document: Cass, S.. 2014. Archaeological Excavation Report: Cherry Tree Inn (phase 2), Debenham.
  • <S4> Unpublished document: Radiocarbon date report. Scottish Univer Envir Res Centre, July 2012.

Finds (11)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (4)

Record last edited

Nov 7 2022 10:43AM

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