Kent Archaeological Review extract

Anglo-Saxon Burials from Barham Downs.
by Miss L. Millard -- Curator.
(Royal Museum, Canterbury.)

In the summer and autumn of 1966, several Anglo-Saxon burials were discovered during roadworks on the A2 where it passes the Anglo-Saxon cemeteries of Kingston and Barham. There were three groups of burials.

  1. To the north west of the junction of Poorstart Lane with the A2. TR/200523.

    Nine flat graves all orientated more or less north-south were discovered during the laying of a Post Office telephone cable at the side of the A2. Bones were recovered from one of the graves. There were no grave goods.

  2. To the south east of the junction of Poorstart Lane with the A2. TR/203518.

    An area of topsoil was stripped under supervision in advance of commercial excavation. Three barrows and one flat grave were uncovered and planned. Two of the barrows were surrounded by shallow penannular ditches. One of these barrows and the barrow without a ditch had been badly affected by ploughing, but it was possible to draw a quarter section of the third barrow. Three further flat graves were discovered in this area during the excavation of a trench for a water pipe. No grave goods were found in this area and the skeleton remains were in poor condition.

  3. Opposite the junction of Black Robin Lane with the A2. TR/206515.

    Eighteen flat graves were discovered when topsoil in this area had been removed by heavy earth-scraping machinery during commercial excavation. These graves probably form part of the Barham cemetery while the other two groups can be referred to Kingston. The graves had no consistent orientation and at least two of them cut into earlier graves. Eleven were found to contain bones and in spite of their poor condition, it was possible to recover these. One of the graves contained a small iron buckle, presumably from a belt, and in another grave there was a greenish stain on the right clavicle of the skeleton that was probably caused by the decay of a bronze and leather object. Apart from these, there were no grave goods.

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