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Burying the Best in Saxon Berkshire
Saxon King in Lowbury Mound?

Saxon Grave under the Lowbury Barrow -  Nash Ford Publishing


  • On Lowbury Hill, on the border between Aston Upthorpe and Aldworth, there is a big Saxon burial mound.
  • A man was buried there in the late 7th century, next to an old Roman Temple.
  • The burial mound and the ruined temple became so well known that the hill was named after them. Lowbury means 'Burial Mound by the Enclosure (of the Temple)'.
  • The man buried there had lots of things with him: a spear, a sword, a shield, a knife, a small pair of shears (scissors), a bone comb in a small case and a posh bronze hanging bowl.
  • They were Saxon types of spear, sword and shield. The spear and the bowl were decorated with colourful and expensive enamel work. The Romano-British were good at doing this. The patterns were Celtic not Saxon.
  • Special tests on one of the man's teeth show that he grew up in Cornwall. So he is likely to have been British even though he had Saxon style weapons and possessions.
  • The man might have been a king or chief of the 'Gewissae' (pronounced Yoo-iss-eye). These were a group of people living in the Vale of the White Horse. They are traditionally thought to have been Saxon, but may have been of mixed Saxon & British blood.
  • Archaeologists think the king was buried on the hill by the old Roman temple to show that, although he may have thought of himself as a Saxon, he ruled over Romano-British people too.
  • There were lots of Romano-British people living in Wallingford in the valley below the hill. The name means 'Welsh people's ford'. 'Welsh' is the Saxon word for the Romano-Britons.


    Nash Ford Publishing 2009; Revised 2016. All Rights Reserved.
   This location is now administered by Oxfordshire County Council.