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



The Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Chadlington lies south of the village on a road called Catsham Lane. It was first discovered in 1929 during gravel digging by a Mr William Hobbs. During the next year E.T. Leeds excavated 7 graves from this site, although he estimated that between 45 and 50 graves had been destroyed before he arrived on site.

Skeleton from grave 15 at Chadlington

Grave 15 photographed during excavation in 1931

The owner of the pit had recovered a number of knives and an unusual spherical bead made of bronze, gold and shell plates. Leeds also found several knives, a bone comb, an iron needle and pottery sherds.

In 1931 the Oxford University Archaeology Society excavated a further 9 graves on the site but found few grave goods with the burials. Few of the graves found in this cemetery had many grave goods, other than knives, suggesting this was not a particularly wealthy community.

Skeleton from grave 9 at Chadlington

Decapitated skeleton in grave 9 photographed during excavation in 1931

It interesting to note that two of the graves excavated were found with the skulls placed between their legs, indicating they had been decapitated shortly before or after death. This is a burial practice usually associated with Romano-British burials.

Many of the finds from this site are now held in the Ashmolean Museum

View artefacts found in 1929-30


E.T. Leeds (1940) "Two Anglo-Saxon Cemeteries in North Oxfordshire", Oxoniensia V, p23-30.

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