The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

White House Folly Hill



Discovered details on the cists and the grave goods found there in "The history of the borough, castle, and barony of Alnwick" by George Tate, 1866.

Google books link at

Text below based on a clean up of the Google scan.

"On the White House grounds, now forming the north-west corner of Holn Park, three other sepulchres have been discovered.

One was opened in 1818 and contained a skeleton, by the side of which stood an elegant shaped drinking cup, covered with zigzag scorings ; it is said to have contained ashes — Plate II, fig, 1. This is the shape most usually met with in Ancient British interments in North Northumberland; elegant in form and in ornamentation, they exhibit no small degree of artistic taste. Another cist-vaen in this locality
was found in 1833 ; but of this we have no definite information; beyond the fact that the direction of the grave was from north to south. Of the third sepulchre, however, which was opened in 1863, we have more particular knowledge. The cist-vaen was as usual formed of sandstone slabs, the length being 2 feet 9 inches, the width 1 foot 10 inches, and the direction from N.E. to S.W. ; within was laid a skeleton with the head towards the south-west end, the body bent, the knees being drawn up towards the head ; and nearly in the centre stood an urn or vase, which is 5 inches in height, with four knobs at the side, and ornamented with characteristic zigzag scorings — Plate II, fig, 3. The skeleton was that of a young person, about 12 years of age ; for the temporary canine teeth had disappeared, and the permanent canine teeth were making their appearance; while also the sutures of the skull were very distinct. Unfortunately the cranium was broken and incomplete ; but so much remained as to admit of its general characters being determined ; it was a short, broad, and compact head; the longitudinal diameter being 6.3 inches and the parietal diameter 5 inches, giving a proportion of nearly 10 to 8, which marks the cranium of the Brachy-cephalic type. The form is well rounded, but there is a peculiar flattening from the occipital protuberance to the foramen magnum, probably due to artificial compression ; for Dr. Barnard Davis, the distinguished author of the "Crania Britannica,'' has shewn that some ancient tribes modified by artificial means the natural form of the skull. Even now some of the American Indians distort the heads of their children by the use of a cradle board. Singular is it, that in the sepulchre of so young a person, there was a rude flint arrow head about one inch in length, and of the same character as one found in a similar interment at Wandylaw — Plate II, fig, 9. Other vases of the same kind from the district, preserved in the Alnwick Castle Museum, shew a gradual advance in Ancient British fictile art ; one from Warkworth has, in place of mere knobs, small but well shaped perforated handles."

Added the three plate pictures referred to in the text to the site.
mascot Posted by mascot
18th January 2010ce
Edited 18th January 2010ce

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