Page:VCH Surrey 1.djvu/324

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A HISTORY OF SURREY scraps of bronze that may have been portions of brooches but were beyond recognition. Three years later, in 1874, further discoveries 1 were made in the same area, which has now been converted into a sewage farm for Croy- don. The remains of a giant of about 6 feet 6 inches were discovered, his head resting on a circular shield of which the iron boss alone remained ; another shield with a similar boss lay close to his left arm, while a spear had been placed along his left side. There also came to light part of a sword and a few spearheads that may have belonged to other graves, as the excavations were not rigidly supervised. Fragments of charred wood as well as ' a coarse black urn and a white drinking cup glazed with bright clean glazing ' were taken as evidence of cremation ; and it was deduced from a plan that the main interment mentioned above was made with the feet pointing to the north-east and the head towards the centre of one of two slight eminences during the levelling of which, in 1871, had been found two cinerary urns. There seems here a slight discrepancy between the two accounts, but the essential fact remains that within a restricted area were found skeletons lying with the head to the west, one at least with the head to the south-west, and several cinerary urns of the Anglo-Saxon period. It might be inferred from the account of the excavations in 1874 that the skeleton lying south-west and north-east was on a lower level than those previously found lying east and west and the cremated burials which were cleared away with the ' slight eminences ' three years before. If this could be established the presumption would be that the burial not orientated was of earlier date than the others, 2 though the presence of cinerary urns in association would still leave the Christian character of the later graves uncertain. On the chalk uplands to the south more satisfactory excavations were carried out in 1871 by Mr. Wickham Flower, who contributed an illustrated account to the Surrey Archceologkal Collections* The grave mounds which had attracted his attention were situated on Farthing- down near Coulsdon, and about five miles south by west of Croydon. The chalk here rises over 400 feet above sea level and afforded a site such as the Saxons as well as the ancient Britons before them preferred for the burial of their dead. The existence of this burial place had been known for at least a century, for about 1770 one of the barrows had been opened and a perfect skeleton found within it. Mr. Flower considered that only the two largest mounds had been previously opened, so that his account of the smaller barrows may be taken to represent the original condition of the graves. Sixteen of these were examined in two groups about a quarter of a mile apart. They were all hewn in the solid chalk to the depth of 3 to 3! feet from the original surface of the 1 Journal of British Arcbteological ditociation, xxx. 213. 8 There were similar cases in a Cambridgeshire cemetery, but the converse was also observed more than once, and such a conclusion would here be fallacious. W. K. Foster, ' An Anglo-Saxon Cemetery at Harrington ' (Cambridge Antiquarian Society's Communications, vol. v.). 8 Vol. vi. p. 1 08. 264