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Six Foot Under-Mound in Saxon Berkshire
in Saxon Berkshire


Building a Saxon Burial Mound -  Nash Ford Publishing

 

  • Early Saxon people buried most of their dead in graves in cemeteries. However, they also liked to bury them in burial mounds.
  • Most of the bodies buried in mounds seem to have been those of important people. These might have been soldiers, chiefs or kings. A few queens or princesses have also been found.
  • They would be buried with lots of things to take with them to  the afterlife.
  • Sometimes the Saxons would use a prehistoric burial mound (called a 'barrow') which was already there. Several people could be buried in them, like at Burghfield or Lambourn.
  • They were seen as magical. The Saxons even thought the smith-god, Wayland, lived at the long barrow called 'Wayland's Smithy'.
  • Very important Saxon people had a single mound all to themselves. The most famous ones are the Sutton Hoo mounds in Suffolk. The Kings of East Anglia were buried in them. They contained lots of gold and other expensive things.
  • Another gold-filled Saxon mound was dug up at Taplow (in Buckinghamshire), near Maidenhead. The man buried there may have been a King of Sunningum in East Berkshire.
  • The best burial mound from Saxon Berkshire is on Lowbury Hill, on the border between Aston Upthorpe and Aldworth.
  • There are or were once other important Saxon mounds in the region too:
    • A flattened mound near Uffington Castle was called the Dude Barrow. Didan is supposed to have been a sub-King of Wessex or Mercia. He was the father of St. Frideswide. The mound contained a Saxon burial that might have been his.
    • Challow, near Wantage, means 'Ceawlin's Barrow'. He was a King of Wessex.
    • Cuckhamsley Barrow (also called Scutchamer's Knob) stands on the Ridgeway at East Hendred. The name means ' Cwichelm's Barrow'. It is an Iron Age mound but may be the burial place of King Cwichelm of Wessex. A Victorian excavation didn't find anything there, but the Victorians were very bad at Archaeology!
    • The burial of a Saxon soldier and his horse was found at Reading in Victorian times. We don't know much about it. It might have been under a mound. It might have been like the the burial under Mound 17 at Sutton Hoo. But some people think it was a Viking burial from later times.

 

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