Surrey Archaeological Collections

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Surrey Archaeological Society (2016) Surrey Archaeological Collections [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor]

The Early Saxon cemetery at Park Lane, Croydon


The Early Saxon cemetery at Croydon was first discovered in the late 19th century, when c 104 5th-7th century items - grave goods and burial urns - were recovered during the construction of terraced housing along Edridge Road. The investigations reported here relate mainly to the Wessex Archaeology excavations (1999 and 2000), and incorporate the findings from the 1992 Museum of London Archaeology Service evaluation of the site and a reappraisal of the Edridge Road material in the light of the recent finds. The Wessex Archaeology excavations uncovered all or parts of 46 Saxon inhumation graves and two cremation burials, representing those on the east side of the cemetery. A high proportion (72%) of the graves contained goods, comprising weaponry (33%) - including four swords - jewellery (13%) and several high status items, including a bronze bowl filled with hazelnuts. The finds indicated a predominantly 6th century date, with a range potentially extending from the late 5th to late 7th/early 8th centuries. The cultural affinities indicate links with the South Saxons, with limited Kentish influences and sparse Anglian ones. While there was relatively good preservation of organic remains including textiles, horn, wood and skin/leather, the human remains were poorly preserved with small quantities of bone recovered from only 48% of graves. A late Roman/early post-Roman inhumation burial - of plaster burial form - was found on the east side of the Saxon cemetery, perhaps indicating at least one influence on the choice by the Saxons for the location of their cemetery.

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