Page:VCH Surrey 1.djvu/323

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ANGLO-SAXON REMAINS teries. A fragmentary specimen, however, now in the British Museum, has the usual impressed ornament in panels surrounded by a peculiar raised rib. Cremation in Surrey during the post-Roman period seems to have been the exception, and beyond the instances already referred to has only been traced in two localities within the county. Whether the urns in question contained the remains of Romanized Britons of the fifth cen- tury or of a few stray immigrants who preserved the Anglian tradition has yet to be determined. But it may here be pointed out that crema- tion among the Romans became less common about the middle of the third century ; and even if the Croydon urns may be assigned to the native population, the characteristic Anglo-Saxon ornament occurred on the specimens found at Beddington and Walton-on-Thames. About three miles from the site already noticed, discoveries of Anglo-Saxon remains have been made from time to time in the vicinity of a Roman villa, at Park Farm in the parish of Beddington, north of the river Wandle and not far from Hackbridge station. 1 The occurrence of a silver penny of Aethelstan (925-40) may be regarded as purely accidental, and is no evidence that the villa was standing, much less that it was occupied, at that period. It was about 500 yards to the south of the building 2 that remains of a human skeleton were found in 1871, with an iron spearhead of superior manufacture, a small knife and portions of the shield-boss. A few feet distant was found a second skeleton in a grave that had been clearly cut to a depth of 18 inches. On the same spot was also found a large sepulchral urn of dark ware, marked with patterns of con- siderable elegance ; this was very moist and brittle but was fortunately removed entire. It measured 9 inches in height as well as diameter and contained fragments of bone mixed with the earth. A smaller urn fell to pieces on removal, but a third was found some days later similar to the first, though very much damaged ; and near it was one of smaller but more graceful proportions, about 7 inches high, with encircling lines and impressed ornaments. This stood upright about 1 8 inches from the surface and contained a fragment of bone. Another skeleton with the usual iron knife, and also another fractured urn were recovered later on ; and it was observed that though the gravel, which was about an acre in extent, was clearly raised above the surrounding meadows there were no surface indications of the burials beneath. On subsequent occasions, 8 in about half the same area, were found five cinerary urns and remains of four unburnt burials, in two of which the head was seen to lie towards the west. The graves contained besides an iron shield-boss of the usual pattern a few spearheads and knives but a very few personal ornaments, comprising a single bead of blue glass, a plain bronze bracelet and a few 1 Society of Antiquaries, Proceedings, v. 1 5 3-5 ; J ournal of British Archttolo&cal Association, xxvii. 5 18.

  • Plans of the villa and its surroundings, as well as illustrations of the shield-bosses and spearheads,

are given in Corbet Anderson's Croydon, pi. viii. and pp. 41, 87. 3 Surrey Arcbitological Collections, vi. 113. 263