Oxfordshire's Historic Archives

Historic Oxfordshire

Preserving and Enhancing Access to Historic Oxfordshire
Records of Archaeological Work held by the Ashmolean Museum

Site Name: Cassington

Site Location: West Oxfordshire
Related Achive: Musgrave (and Leeds)

Christopher Musgrave was a student of human anatomy at University Museum, Oxford. He assisted at the excavations in Cassington, and recorded the details and took photographs of the burials. These sites were discovered firstly by the construction of the northern-bypass, then by gravel extraction at the pits at Purwell Farm, Tolley's Pit, and Smith's Pit. By the time of the construction of the by-pass in 1933, Anglo-Saxon remains of a few house bottoms were discovered in Tolley's Pit (in 1931). In 1940 graves were discovered associated with this settlement in Smith's Pit. Gilt brooches, a glass funnel shaped vase, iron shield-bosses were amongst the finds. A second cemetery, south of Purwell Farm was discovered in 1941 when another gravel pit was opened. Brooches, an iron knife, 2 necklaces and a Roman coin were amongst the finds, acquired later by the Ashmolean Museum. 13 graves were demolished by the roadmen, 2 skeletons were salvaged, which Musgrave managed to record. 5 more graves were found in Partridge's Pit to the north. These were excavated by Leeds, Harden and Penniman. The total number of skeletons from the area were estimated to have been about 120, including many that were destroyed before recording. More information on Purwell Farm can be found in Anglo-Saxon Oxfordshire and Smith's Pit can also be found


E.T. Leeds and M. Riley, Two Early Saxon Cemeteries at Cassington, Oxon, Oxoniensia, VII (1941-2), p61

Aerial Photographs

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The bypass site at Cassington
The site on the northern bypass at Cassington, showing up in aerial photography (Major Allen, 1933)
The sites at Cassington

The sites at Cassington, showing up in aerial photography (Major Allen, 1933)

Object Photographs

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