Books, Prehistory, Ten Years' Digging, Samuel Carrington 1850

Samuel Carrington 1850 is in Ten Years' Digging.

Books, Prehistory, Ten Years' Digging, Samuel Carrington 1850, Throwley

On the 16th of February we opened a barrow at Rushley [Map], near Throwley, twelve yards diameter, and two feet six inches high. We found no interment, but near the centre were fragments of bone, horses' teeth, burnt flint, and rats' bones.

We afterwards re-examined the mound [Throwley Moor Barrow [Map]] behind Throwley Moor House, where an urn and stone axe were found in 1849, but found it to consist almost entirely of natural rock, the inequalities having been smoothed over into barrow form by the addition of a little earth.

Books, Prehistory, Ten Years' Digging, Samuel Carrington 1850, Warslow

On the 23rd of February, at Blakelow [Map], near Warslow, we opened a barrow, twenty yards across and two feet deep in the middle of our section, composed of stiff earth of different colours, inclining to clay. Not far from the centre was a deposit of calcined bones, mixed with charcoal, lying on the natural surface, covered and surrounded with stones placed with but little attention to regularity, excepting a few on the level which seemed to have been arranged in a row. The bones were accompanied by two neatly-wrought instruments of flint - one a spear-head, the other oval - which, contrary to the general custom, had not passed through the fire. Several other trenches were made without further results.

Books, Prehistory, Ten Years' Digging, Samuel Carrington 1850, Stanton

On the 16th of March we opened Scrip Low [Map], a barrow near Stanton, composed of sandy earth and pebbles, and measuring about fourteen yards diameter. We found the interment, consisting of calcined bones, about eighteen inches from the surface, some distance north from the centre, surrounded by sandstones, which only occurred in that part of the barrow. A considerable space in the middle was uncovered, down to the natural surface, about two feet beneath the summit, where a layer of dark-coloured earth was observed, but nothing of importance found, a broken instrument of fiint, two small pieces of plain earthenware, and a few burnt bones only being observed.

On the 6th of April we opened a barrow, called Green Low, near Beresford Hall, where Charles Cotton entertained his friend, Isaac Walton, but fecund nothing beside one piece of burnt bone and a circular implement of flint, as the greatest part of the mound was natural, where otherwise, we found the natural surface at the average depth of two feet, increasing in the centre to a yard, where was some charcoal.

Books, Prehistory, Ten Years' Digging, Samuel Carrington 1850, Lady Low

On the 13th of April we made a cutting in the south-east side of the tumulus, at Lady Low [Map], near Blore, first examined on the 2nd July, 1849, and discovered a heap of calcined bones buried in the earth, without any provision having been made to enclose them. In their midst lay a bronze dagger, of the usual shape as far as regards the blade, but having a shank or tang to fit into the handle, which was secured by a single peg passing through a hole in the former; the handle, where it overlaid the blade, was terminated by a straight end, and not by a crescent-shaped one as usual. The dagger had been burnt along with the body, furnishing the second instance of the kind, and the third in which that instrument has been discovered with calcined bones in our researches. We also made a further search in the other tumulus at Lady Low, where burnt bones were found on the 14th of September, 1849, but found nothing but two blocks of flint.

20th of April, we reopened the third barrow [Musden Third Barrow [Map]] on Musdin Hill, examined on the 19th of May, 1849, by making a wide section through the middle. This time we cut a circular trench around our former excavation, and found some burnt bones near the surface, with a small piece of an urn and two flints. The upper part of the barrow was composed of diflerently coloured earth from the lower, in which we found no interment, although it showed no traces of having been disturbed by former digging.

The next barrow is situated in a plantation between Ramshom and Cotton, near one opened in a field called Three Lows [Either Three Lows Barrow 1 [Map] or Three Lows Barrow 2 [Map]], on the 30th of October, 1849 [Note. A mistake for 13 Oct 1849?]. The present barrow measures 22 yards in diameter, and is about 18 inches high in the middle, but is encircled by a more elevated ring, varying firom 3 to 6 feet in height. On the natural level, in the centre, were a few burnt bones, with charcoal; and beneath the south-east segment of tiie ring were more calcined bones and charcoal. Only one small piece of flint was found. The mound was composed of earth and stones, the latter forming a kind of pavement.

Books, Prehistory, Ten Years' Digging, Samuel Carrington 1850, Ecton Hill

On the 9th of May we opened a barrow [Ecton Barrow 2 [Map]] on Ecton Hill, a few hundred yards south of that examined on the Hang Bank. We cleared a space about 13 feet square, in the middle, beyond which there was not more than a foot of raised earth, so that a more extensive cutting was needless, and within this limited area we found eight interments, deposited on the rocky surface of the land, about 18 inches below the turf covering the barrow, which had probably been reduced in elevation by repeated ploughing. The general arrangement of the interments may be simply explained by the statement, that in the centre was a skeleton lying in a contracted posture upon the right side, surrounded by six skeletons all lying contracted upon the left side; and a deposit of calcined bones placed against a stone. They were discovered in the following order. First, the burnt bones; second, a skeleton, beneath which were two rude flints partially calcined; third, a skeleton; fourth, skeleton, accompanied by a round flint; fifth and sixth, two skeletons, lying opposite ways, with the skidls in contact; seventh, skeleton, with a small wrought flint; eighth, a skeleton. With the flfth were a few burnt bones, and the fourth was the central interment.

On the 18th of May we opened a barrow at Thorswood, near Stanton, which we had discovered in returning from that opened on the 6th of September, 1848. The diameter of the present one in 13 yards, with an elevation of 5 feet, presenting an unmutilated appearance. On digging down in the centre the rock was found at the depth of 3 feet, as the tumulus had been raised on a natural prominence and had been previously rifled. A few pieces of an urn, with the usual chevron pattern, were found about a foot below the turf; lower down were some pieces of bDue, and at the natural level, in the centre of the barrow, were black ashes and charcoal, with a few pieces of calcined bone and flint. There were also some large stones about the same place, one measuring 3 feet each way, which had no doubt formed a cist for the protection of the urn and calcined bones before the barrow was disturbed. We afterwards examined a circular rise in the nezt field, but found nothing.

On the 25th of May we examined a barrow upon Morridge, opposite the village of Winkhill, 13 yards diameter and 18 inches high of the so-called "Druid Barrow" shape, flat in the middle, with an elevated ring surrounding it. We turned over the greater part without finding any thing but a small arrow, and another instrument of burnt flint; a little charred wood was seen on the natural surface.

Books, Prehistory, Ten Years' Digging, Samuel Carrington 1850, Bitchinhill

On the evenings of the 29th and 30th of May we made further search in the second barrow [Possibly Beechen Hill Barrow 1 [Map]] at Bitchinhill Harbour, previously opened on the 8th of July, 1845, and turned over much of the tumulus without finding any interment. The following notes were taken at the time. The East side was formed of stone mixed with earth, the rest of the mound being of earth only; the rocky floor was also lower on the East than elsewhere, and in this depression we found part of two Romano-British vessels, an iron awl 3½ inches long, which has had a wooden handle, and some charred wood. At the North-West side were numerous pieces of melted lead, some of which had run into forms like thick wire, probably from the heat of the funeral pile, as all the bones we noticed, as well as the pieces of flint, had been calcined. The lead was about a foot beneath the turf, and amongst the usual unimportant objects found in disturbed barrows were fragments of imperfectly baked pottery, pieces of stags' horns, pebbles, and a sharpening stone.

Books, Prehistory, Ten Years' Digging, Samuel Carrington 1850, Castern

The large barrow at Castern [Map], near Wetton, first opened on the 14th of June, 1845, was again investigated on the evenings of the 5th, 6th, and 11th of June. On the former occasion, a trench was dug from the south-west side, towards the middle, and on the present a supplementary cutting was made parallel with each side of it. In the western one were no signs of any interment; some human bones, evidently removed from another situation, and some chippings of flint, alone being observed. In the other trench we found the disturbed skeletons of two persons, the skull of one exhibiting the frontal suture, and the usual fragments of flint, pottery, charcoal, and rats' bones. The advancing shades of evening now compelled us to relinquish our labour, and the want of success induced us to fill up the cutting; but on after consideration we determined to make another attempt in the same direction as where we left off, as that part of the mound was stony to the summit, and mingled with charcoal and detached human bones, whilst elsewhere the superstructure was of earth, resting on a foundation of stone. Hence the inference that a later interment had taken place, the stone dug up in making the grave being thrown in again above it. Accordingly, on the 11th June, we resumed our labours, and were soon rewarded by the discovery of a skeleton upon the floor of the barrow, accompanied by several instruments of flint, three of which lay under the head and shoulders. A more uncommon article, a bronze armilla, was found beneath the edge of a stone that lay upon the skeleton, and in contact with the pelvis, into which it was slightly forced by the pressure, which had likewise broken it into two pieces. It is made of a flat ribbon of bronze, half an inch broad, with over-lapping ends to preserve elasticity, ornamented outside with a neatly engraved lozengy pattern, and has a span of 2⅜ inches diameter. The body appeared to have been laid on its back, with the head to the west, but the bones were so imperfect as to render this not quite certain. Wherever we dug in the barrow there were broken human bones and numerous remains of rats.

Books, Prehistory, Ten Years' Digging, Samuel Carrington 1850, Wetton

The largest barrow at Three Lows [Either Three Lows Barrow 1 [Map] or Three Lows Barrow 2 [Map]?], near Wetton, opened, as far as the central part is concerned, on the 7th of June, 1845, was now fully investigated on the evenings of the 4th, 10th, 12th, and 13th of June, by a trench cut round the former excavation, so as to expose a considerable space between it and the outside of the mound. We began at the west side, and found, first, an imperfect armlet of thick bronze wire; next, a noble pair of red deer's horns, with part of the skull attached to one of them, and having with them a neat arrow-head of flint. Proceeding onward, we found many pieces of a large urn, with the burnt bones it had contained; and on the 13th we discovered the place where it had been first placed, part of the bottom still remaining in situ. Amongst earth blackened by the admixture of ashes, here were found a very neat barbed arrow-head, and a remarkably fine spear-head or dagger of flint, upwards of five inches long, without the point, which is missing. The latter has been so much calcined as to present a dark-coloured vitrified surface, exhibiting numberless cracks precisely similar to Cracklin porcelain; where broken, it shows a white interior. We had before found two calcined flint spear-heads of smaller size, and a round instrument which may also have been originally deposited with tlie burnt bones. Fragments of many urns, some tastefully ornamented, burnt and unburnt haman bones, large pieces of stags' horns, and flakes of flint, were found in all parts of tbe mound, but most plentifully on the south and west sides. The unusual number of stags' horns of the largest size found in this barrow on both occasions is very remarkable. They indicate the hunter-life of its occupants, naturally resulting from the fiudlity with which a regular supply of large game could be obtained before the country was to any great extent brought under cultivation.

Books, Prehistory, Ten Years' Digging, Samuel Carrington 1850, Castern

There is a small tumulus in the same field at Castern as the large barrow lately described, which we slightly examined on the 12th September, 1846, but abandoned on finding the centre converted into a limekiln, which was, nevertheless, occupied by a human skeleton extended at the bottom, which we were convinced was a modem addition, afterwards explained by information afforded by two aged persons living in the neighbourhood, who stated that the skeleton was that of one Francis Brown, who lived in a house near at hand, and who was one day found suspended by the neck from a beam, with a stool overturned near his feet, upon which discovery he was buried as a suicide in the old lime-kiln, which was very near and convenient. In the sequel, it appears, however, that poor Brown was unjustly suspected of self-destruction, as it is said that two criminals, executed at York some years afler, confessed that they were the actual perpetrators of the murder, and that they had arranged the corpse and stool in such a manner as to convey the impression that the slain man was a suicide.

Notwithstanding all this, we were confident that the mound was a barrow, and as it was full fourteen yards across and four feet high, thought that there was room to find an interment somewhere. We therefore removed a space four yards square between the kiln and the south-east edge, finding at the natural level a pavement of flat stones, whereon were many disjointed human bones belonging to several skeletons, mixed with numerous instruments of calcined flint. The most perfect skeleton lay in the middle of the pavement, with the head towards the interior of the barrow, and was accompanied by a knife, a spear-head, and other instruments of white flint. Nearer to the centre of the barrow was a deposit of burnt bones, and one implement of flint; and not far from the outside we found the remains of a finely ornamented cinerary urn, with its contents, the calcined bones lying broken and disturbed a few inches imder the turf.

In the course of the excavation, we found many bones of animals, fragments of vessels (one of which had been a drinking cup), a flat piece of sandstone rubbed hollow at one side, and a round piece of ruddle, or red war paint, which, from its abraded appearance, must have been in much request for colouring the skin of its owner. In the few instances in which this substance has been found in our tumuli, it has uniformly been associated with weapons of flint of good workmanship. Most of the very numerous flints picked up in this barrow are fair specimens.

Books, Prehistory, Ten Years' Digging, Samuel Carrington 1850, Bailey Hill

On the 3rd of August we opened a barrow on Bailey Hill [Map], between the Dove and Bostom, on the Derbyshire side of the stream. It was raised upon a very irregular protuberant rock, which in the middle was cut through the loose upper beds into a kind of grave, the bottom of which, conforming to the dip of strata, was three feet deep at one end, whilst it diminished to nothing at the other. In this were three interments, the most primitive of which had been disturbed by the later deposits, its bones being found at intervals from the surface downwards. The bones were those of a full-grown person, and much decayed. A second skeleton was found undisturbed at the bottom, on which it lay on its right side, with the body slightly curved, the knees contracted, and the head to the west. Before the face was a small plain vase, lying on its side, and at the back of the skull was a very large tusk from the wild boar. The femur measures about 16 J inches. About a foot below the surface was a deposit of calcined bones, containing a very neatly made pair of tweezers of bone, unbumt, and perforated for suspension. The grave was filled up with stone, and the artificial part of the roound consisted of similar materials, amongst which rats' bones so much abounded as to fill up most of the interstices from the surface to the bottom of the grave. A few pieces of two vessels were picked up during the day. The following remarks upon the barrow, made by Mr. Carrington immediately after the opening, are valuable. He says — "I consider this to be the most primitive barrow I ever opened, as the small instrument of bone may have been deposited with the burnt bones at a much more recent period than that in which the mound was originally constructed. The coarse urn, without any decoration — the absence of every other article, with the exception of the boar's tusk — serve to strengthen this supposition. The contents of the cist were examined with the greatest care, yet nothing more was discovered, except one small round piece of ironstone — not a sandstone, or pebble, or charcoal (which are all commonly found in Celtic barrows) — not even one bit of flint was to be seen. This is the first barrow I have opened in which the latter material has not been present."

On the 11th of August we went to examine some mounds on elevated land, near Bostorn, Derbyshire, which looked like barrows, and in which we found large loose stones, with numerous snail shells beneath them; but as they were not promising, we soon left them. We next dug a hole within a rude circle of stones, on a hill side facing the river Dove, where, finding a piece of a stag's horn and a bit of an urn, with some charcoal, we were induced to make a fair trial. The circle, which is not complete, is eight yards diameter, and formed of stones irregularly heaped together for the purpose of retaining the earth within it, which would otherwise be washed down the declivity by heavy rains. The earth in the inside is about a yard deep, and is succeeded by a deep bed of shingly stone, unmixed with earth, common to the bases of many of the Derbyshire hills, being the gradual accumulation of debris from the limestone rocks above. The earth in 'contact with the shingle was black, and intermixed with fragments of bone and charcoal, yet yielded no interment beside one piece of calcined bone, and a quantity of black ashes upon a flat stone, intermixed with what we thought might be the dust of burnt bones. A few chippings of flint, numerous animal teeth, and a few rats' bones were observed.

Books, Prehistory, Ten Years' Digging, Samuel Carrington 1850, Elsktone

August 31st — On the summit of a hill, south-west of Elkstone, are two barrows [Elkstones Barrow 1 [Map] and Elkstones Barrow 2 [Map]], near each other, both of which were examined on the same day. The first, sixteen yards diameter and one yard in central height, was opened by a section through the middle, three yards long and one wide, cut through stiff earth and clay, mixed near the surface with stone. The trench was afterwards enlarged by cutting about a yard more from one side, when a few burnt bones and two small flints were found. Continuing this extension down to the natural surface, we found a full-grown skeleton, with the legs drawn up, lying on its right side, with the head to the north-west. The bones, which were much decayed, had become embedded in clayey earth whilst sound, and now appeared more like a cast or impression than a real skeleton. It had been laid on the floor of the barrow, on which was a thin coat of ashes, causing the superincumbent earth to separate so perfectly as to leave a level surface round the bones, thus aiding the illusion. A stone placed lengthway at each side afforded the only protection, and in the earth above we found a bronze awl, lather thicker than usual, a few instruments of flint, two animal teeth, pieces of human bone in calcined and natural state, and rats' bones in small quantity. The second barrow is twenty yards across and only one foot high. In the centre was a large rubbing-post for cattle, which had been set up in the midst of a deposit of calcined bones buried about a foot beneatb the surface. They were spread over a space a yard long by about a foot wide, from whence a great many were collected, though some were left closely imbedded in claj, forming a light-coloured seam about an inch and a half thick, out of which they were with difficulty to be taken. They were accompanied by part of a very beautifully ornamented vase, which had been destroyed by the rubbing-post, and a few pieces of calcined flint, three only of which can be called instruments. A little lower, and to the side, were the decayed remains of a young person, accompanied by a large boar's tusk and some important flints. Underneath we found a large grave, cut four feet deep in the rock and filled with stones, which were emptied out for the length of three yards, without showing either end of the grave; its least width was four feet, but it appeared to increase the further we went. On the rocky bottom lay a skeleton in a contracted posture, with the head to the north-west, much in the same manner as that in the other barrow. The closest scrutiny failed to reveal any thing beyond rats' bones as an accompaniment. The femur measures 18½ inches. A large sandstone, with a small bowl-shaped cavity worked in it, was found near the burnt bones. A similar stone was found at Stanton, Staffordshire, and other examples will occur in the course of the volume.

Books, Prehistory, Ten Years' Digging, Samuel Carrington 1850, Wetton

On the 9th of September, we opened a mound nine yards across, near Thor's Cave, Wetton, situated midway between that object and the road to Grindon. Owing to its very slight elevation it is not easily seen, and a wall crosses it some distance from the centre. We turned most of it over, finding it to consist of red earth, mixed with chert, and to show near the surface charcoal, bits of bone, burnt and unbumt, and pieces of stags' horn. Near the centre, about a foot below the surface, we found two very curious vessels; one of rather globular form, four inches high, is carved in sandstone like some of the Irish urns, and is ornamented by four grooves round the outside. About a foot from it was another equally curious vessel, which may be styled a bronze pan or kettle, four inches higli and six diameter, with a slender iron bow like a bucket handle. It has been first cast and then hammered, and is very slightly marked by horizontal ridges. The stone vessel was found in an upright position, and the bronze one was inverted: above it were traces of decayed wood. It is probable that a deposit of burnt bones was placed near the centre of the mound, the greatest part of which was in a field that had been often tilled, so that they might easily have been so far removed by the plough as to leave only the few traces which we observed near the surface. Stone vessels of this kind are rarely found in England, but are common in the north of Scotland and the Shetland Isles, where they are not unfrequently provided with handles.

Books, Prehistory, Ten Years' Digging, Samuel Carrington 1850, Stanshope

In a meadow by the road side between Stanshope and Dam Grate, are three tumuli, two of which are within thirty yards of each other: the third is at a greater distance from either. They are composed of different coloured earth, grey being the prevailing tint. That nearest Stanshope [Stanshope Barrow 3 [Map]] was first opened on the 16th of October, by cutting out a portion of the middle, five yards square, to the depth of three feet six inches, but without corresponding success, as nothing was found to indicate the nature of the mound but a sprinkling of charcoal. It is 28 yards diameter and three feet high, and in all probability contains calcined bones.

The second [Stanshope Barrow 4 [Map]] (about thirty yards from the first) is the same height, but about two yards less in diameter. It was opened on the afternoons of the 2nd and 5th of November, by digging a circular hole in the middle, and several trenches in the south and east sides, with but little more satisfactory results than in the former case. The charcoal was more abundant and we found a rudely formed spear-head and some chippings of flint, and near the surface some animal teeth and bones.

The third [Stanshope Barrow 5 [Map]] (nearest to Dam Gate) is neither so high nor so large as the others, as it measures only sixteen yards across. We made a section nineteen feet long by eight wide, from east to west, through the middle and found only a few particles of calcined bone, and numerous chippings of flint, two of which have been intended for instruments; one of the latter has been burnt.

On the 27th of December we opened a barrow in a field to the right of the road from Load Mill to Alstonefield, which is eleven yards diameter and three feet high in the centre, composed of earthy with a few flat stones near the surface. The earth in the lower part was darker coloured than above, and much mixed with charcoal, amongst which were a few calcined bones and two blocks of flint. Nearly the whole mound was turned over without further success, and still the lower part had evidently never been disturbed. It is pretty clear that the interment of burnt bones had been enclosed within a small cist, erected near the surface with the flat stones we there found, and which had been pulled to pieces.