Attitudes to Disposal of the Dead - Gazetteer Query Form

Background to the Gazetteer | Table of Contents


Site name Ashford Common, Sunbury
Site number 855
Burial codes 3002 3005 3021 3023 3026 3028 3030 3032 3041 3048 3051 3053 3065 3075 3081 3083 3084 3092 3094 3104 3111 3128 3143 3153 3161 3173 3181
2500bc-14/1300bc Possible overlap site with 14/1300-8/700.
14/1300bc-8/700bc At least twenty-eight urns of two different clays and of 'five or six different kinds' including globular and bucket shaped urns were discovered in ploughing up common land. The burials were chiefly in lines oriented EW, with occasional lunette shaped arrangements convex side to the east, all in an excavated area c15 x 6m. Each urn appears to have been placed in a hole dug for it down to the sandy gravel subsoil, and on the evidence most were inverted. They varied in size from 15-30cm in diameter, and in height. Some urns were simply ornamented with finger indentations on an annulet, some having nipple like projections on four sides, and some with regular or random perforations. All appeared to be of the same era. There was no evidence of a mound, but the orderly setting suggests a surface marker for each.

Two large basin shaped hollows were found in which cremations had taken place. The excavator believed that the cremations covered by the inverted urns were made in the urn holes themselves, the urn then being inserted to cover it. This inference was made from the observation of burning since the ashes had been hot when deposited. The large hollows were believed to be cremation pits for the upright urns' contents, but probably were for all cremations. A few calcined flints and animal bones were found, but no accompanying grave goods. The cremated bone was too calcined and fragmented to allow identification of numbers, age or sex.

The excavator judged the cemetery to be pre-Roman but went no further. Barrett 1973 classed the site as Bronze Age, and suggests from this report and other evidence of discoveries in the area that at least 72 urns had been found at one time or another from the same cemetery. Ploughing may have destroyed many more.
Remains/Period Y4 Y3
County Middlesex
Region SE
National grid square TQ
X coordinate 97
Y coordinate 704
Bibliographic source Roberts 1871, Barrett 1973


© Internet Archaeology/Author(s)
Last updated: Tues Aug 10 2004