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Hagbourne Hill

Round Barrow(s)


Monument No. 233626

Details of site on Pastscape

Assorted Bronze and Iron Age artefacts apparently found on Hagbourne Hill. Various artefacts were found in a number of oblong pits encountered in 1803. Further discoveries were made in 1939. Material found spans the later Bronze Age and Iron Age. The site falls within the area of an old chalk pit, and were presumably made during chalk extraction. The confused nature of the reports, particularly of the 19th century finds, has led to reports of "mixed" hoards - of Bronze and Iron Age material being found together, when it seems simply that a range of material has been recovered from the same chalk pit.

[SU 49698679] Bronze & Iron Age Remains found. (1)
A hoard of Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age bronze objects and some coins [period not specified] were found in one of a
number of oblong pits uncovered on Hagbourne Hill beside the Icknield Way in 1803. The finds with the exception of the coins
and socketed celt are now in the British Museum. King considers one gold coin found to be of the lower empire. W.A. Smallcombe sites these finds at [SU 49698684].
When examining the area Crawford found, in the south face of the old chalk pit, [at SU 49828669] the remains of (? rubbish) pits continuing pot sherds and charcoal and a section of a post hole. (5)
All the above sitings fall in the area of a large shallow chalk pit, which is now completely grassed over. (See Map Diagram).
The present location of the axe and coins could not be determined. (6)
An unpublished, early Iron Age pottery find, recorded in 1939, has affinity with decorated examples from the Chilterns. The reliability of the dating of the hoard, however is dubious. The combined evidence regarding various finds on Hagbourne Hill is very confused. There is possibility that the site was a cemetery, as a skeleton features in various references, although no mention of it is made in the original record of E B King. (7)
Three Bronze Age spearheads in the British Museum, reputed from Harbourne Hill, (B.M. 61.9-20.6,62.7-19.10 & 62.7-19.11) are described and drawn, but it is not clear whether these represent separate finds. (8)
(SU 49698679; SU 49698684). Detailed description of the horse-bits, pins and socketed bronze axe. Also includes illustration (9).
Additional rectangular pits found in 1939. The earlier hoard included 2 BA objects, which may be survivals. Principal IA remains are the 2 horse-bits and cast ring-headed pin, which roughly parallel the Arras-Culture of Yorks. Coins may be intrusive. Dating of hoard may fit within C1st BC. Function of pits uncertain unless further excavated. 2 other bronze spearheads in the British Museum are said to have been found "by the side of a skeleton". Hagbourne site needs further corroborative information independant of the 1803 hoard before it can conclusively be associated with the early La tene. (10)
Coins from the hoard were dispersed beford details could be obtained; the gold coin attributed to the lower Empire may possibly be British (11). Details of 2 bronze spearheads 1 from SU 497870 and 1 from
SU 490870 (12). (11,12)

( 1) Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date) OS 6" (Prov) 1960
( 2) Society of Antiquaries of London Archaeologia : or miscellaneous tracts relating to antiquity (E.B. King) 16, 1812 Page(s)348-9
( 3) Externally held archive reference Reading Mus. 6" (W.A. Smallcombe 1949)
( 4) Annotated Record Map Rec. 6" (O.G.S. Crawford 14.2.30)
( 5) Aerial photograph A/Ps (R.A.F. 106 G 1721 1003-1004: Sept. 1946
( 6) Field Investigators Comments F1 JP 29-AUG-63
( 7) General reference Harding, DW. The Iron Age in the Upper Thames Basin. London: Oxford University Press. 91-2
( 8) by Margaret R Ehrenberg 1977 Bronze Age spearheads from Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire BAR British series1 (1974) - 34 Page(s)39, 59
( 9) edited by P H Ditchfield and William Page 1906 The Victoria history of Berkshire, volume one The Victoria history of the counties of England Page(s)186-8
( 10) General reference Harding, DW. The Iron Age in the Upper Thames Basin pp91-92
( 11) Berkshire Archaeological Society The Berkshire archaeological journal 42, 1938 Page(s)86
( 12) by Margaret R Ehrenberg 1977 Bronze Age spearheads from Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire BAR British series1 (1974) - 34 Page(s)39, 59
Chance Posted by Chance
21st August 2012ce

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