Photograph of ET Leeds
Archives and Artefacts
Photograph of ET Leeds beside a trench
Exploring the Past through the Work of E.T. Leeds and A2A



Anglo-Saxon graves were first discovered at Smith's Pit in Cassington in 1930 when the skeletons of a man, woman and child were found. In August 1940 gravel diggers found further graves but unfortunately they were destroyed before they could be investigated. However E.T. Leeds acquired several of the finds for the Ashmolean Museum including a shield boss, the fittings from a bucket, a green glass beaker and two gilt radiate head brooches.

Shield boss (AN1940.222)
Shield boss acquired by E.T. Leeds (AN1940.222)

In 1944 six further graves were found in the centre of the field, three of which were excavated by the Oxford University Archaeological Society (OUAS). One grave contained two children, a second an adolescent and the third a woman with two gilt saucer brooches, beads and a knife.

Saucer Brooch (AN1945.116)
Iron knife (AN1945.121)
Saucer brooch (AN1945.116) and knife (AN1945.121) found in 1944 by OUAS

The OUAS undertook further excavations in 1950, revealing Neolithic and Bronze Age flint flakes, polished stone axes, a fragment of Bronze Age pottery and Romano-British pottery. Four further burials were found including three male graves which produced Romano-British pottery and various other finds.

Spearhead (AN1951.126)
Spearhead found in 1951 (AN1951.126)

An Anglo-Saxon spearhead was recovered in 1951 and excavations by Humphrey Case and J. H. Hedgely uncovered Roman, Iron Age and Neolithic pottery together with animal bones and flint flakes. All these finds are held by the Ashmolean Museum.


"Notes and News", Oxoniensia 5, 1940, p163

E.T.Leeds and M. Riley (1942) "Two Early Saxon Cemeteries at Cassington, Oxon", Oxoniensia 7, p61-62.

"Notes and News", Oxoniensia 7-8, 1943-44, p196

"Notes and News", Oxoniensia 15, 1950, p104-105

"Notes and News", Oxoniensia 16, 1951, p79

A. MacGregor and E. Bolick (1993) A Summary Catalogue of the Anglo-Saxon Collections (Non- Ferrous Metals), BAR British Series 230.

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