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Hanging Bank, Ecton Hill

Round Barrow(s)


A Giant's Grave?

Robert Plot mentions that men's bones "of an extraordinary size" were found when a Low on Ecton Hill was opened. Apparently these bones were "preserved for some time by one Mr. Hamilton vicar of Alstonefield". Source: The Natural History of Stafford-shire", Plot, R. 1686. p.330 paragraph 109.

This is probably the low mentioned by Plot "on Ecton" in the list of lows on p.404 paragraph 21.

When Carrington opened Hanging Bank barrow on 18th May 1848 he noted that the site had been previously disturbed.

Bateman believed that this barrow must be the one Plot refers to as it is the only one of the five on Ecton that showed evidence of having previously been dug into.

There are plenty of examples from around the world of "Giant's bones" being discovered which are in fact the bones of large animals that have been misidentified - is that the case here? Maybe / maybe not - there are certainly examples of animals being interred in barrows in Staffordshire but these tend to be either smaller animals such as a dog, a pig or a polecat or they are part of an animal such as an Ox's head or antler tines. So could this just be the burial of a strapping, big warrior? Would that warrant the description "...bones...of an extraordinary size"?

It is a pity we do not know what Mr. Hamilton did with the bones he 'preserved'.
BrownEdger Posted by BrownEdger
2nd September 2014ce
Edited 2nd September 2014ce

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