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Site name Stamford Hill, Mount Batten, Plymstock
Site number 1178
Burial codes 1005 1009 1021 1023 1025 1028 1030 1032 1042 1046 1051 1065 1072 1075 1084 1091 1098 1104 1111 1121 1122 1123 1129 1130 1143 1153 1171 1181
100bc-AD43 A cemetery discovered in military work in 1865, for which no plan survives. The total number of graves was not recorded, although the graves were said to be numerous and of irregular form, and mostly oriented EW. Several graves broke into each other, sometimes at right angles. The graves were pits c1.2-1.5m deep, the lower 0.9m dug into the natural crumbling rock. The interments were covered with backfill and numerous large rough, water-worn limestone blocks imported from one of the neighbouring limestone hills or beaches. These blocks may have lined the graves as well as covering the bodies. The bodies were said to be in sitting positions, so were presumably crouched or contracted.

Detailed descriptions of graves were not recorded, but several partial descriptions indicate for one grave which may have contained three bodies the finding of several water-worn pebbles mostly of one size, fragments of an amber coloured glass bowl, a vase of coarse pottery, and pig molars; and for another a bronze mirror lying flat at the eastern end of the grave and a bronze fibula. An isolated grave c30m from the main cemetery and nearer the sea contained iron shears, an iron knife and 3 bronze finger rings.

Finds not recorded against specific graves included 3 fragmentary bronze mirror handles, four bronze hinged armlets, 3 La Tene I or II knobbed bronze bracelets, a matched pair of Pyrrennean disc-footed bronze brooches, a bronze swan neck pin, two straight shafted bronze pins, a disc headed bronze pin, a fragmentary glass bowl or vase, a Class A1 bronze penannular brooch, 2 La Tene 1c brooches*, an iron knife in a bronze sheath*, a bronze cup*, bronze rings* and at least 9 pottery vessels* including 3 black bowls, a red vase, 2 jugs, a 'sculptured bowl, a 'drinking cup' and a miniature vase. [Some of the material marked* may be from the cemetery or an adjacent settlement site.]

The dating suggests that burials could have begun in the 20s and 30s of the 1st Century AD, but the brooches and some of the pottery vessels are of post-Conquest date and belong to the period cAD43-70.
Remains/Period Y1
County Devon
Region SW
National grid square SX
X coordinate 491
Y coordinate 526
Bibliographic source Spence Bate 1864, 1866, 1871, Hencken 1932, Fox 1958, Clarke 1971, Whimster 1981, Wait 1985, Cunliffe 1988b


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Last updated: Tues Aug 10 2004