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#Hart Heritage 2 – The Lost Villa of Barley Pound by Linda Munday

The Lost Villa of Barley Pound

The year 2017, marks the two hundredth anniversary of the discovery of the Barley Pound Roman Villa in Crondall, Hampshire. It was on the 26th May 1817 that a carter, by the name of Hurdle, was ploughing a field at Barley Pound Farm when he came across some pieces of Roman tessellated pavement. He immediately contacted his employer, Mr Charles Benham and a further exploration of the site commenced. (Jefferson 1817, 1)

OS map 2017 of Barley Pound Villa site

Figure 1 – site of the Barley Pound Roman villa  © Crown Copyright and Database Right (2017). Ordnance Survey (Digimap Licence)

A booklet was produced in 1817 by Joseph Jefferson called An Account of the Roman Mosaic Pavement found at Badley  (sic) Pound Farm. He describes how the discovery had “excited much curiosity in the neighbourhood” and how he felt obliged to record some information on the find. Even though he admits the account is “drawn up in an imperfect manner” hoping that it will “lead the more learned antiquary to further investigation.” (Jefferson 1817, A2) The booklet explains the surprise shown that the mosaic floor had not been found before as the field had been ploughed many times. (Burningham 1859, 298) However, it had also been observed that corn did not grow well in that part of the field. (Jefferson 1817, 6) The mosaic was described as twelve feet square with the tiles (tessera) made of burnt clay or brick. Each tile was about an inch square and of many different colours. The mosaic’s workmanship was of very high quality. So, it was thought to belong to a very fine Roman residence. (Anon, DU)

1913 County series map of Barley Pound villa site

Figure 2 – County Map 1870 showing Roman villa site north of Barley Pound Farm

The mosaic design had a grid of nine guilloche bordered octagons. (Burningham 1859, 298) Guilloche is a common form of ornamental bordering on Roman mosaics which consists of two or more strands twisted together. The octagons (eight sided shapes) each contained a medallion within which were alternately framed a flower, lotus urn and an urn in a wreath in the centre. (Rainey 1973, 59)

Mosaic making originated in Greece in 400BC and the Romans invited Greeks to the empire to make them. The earliest mosaics in Britain would have been designed and made by craftsman from Rome and elsewhere in the Mediterranean (Rainey 1973, 12) The small cut pieces of either stone, glass, marble or pottery were called tesserae which is the Latin word for cube or die. Hence the term tessellated pavement used for the Barley Pound mosaic. (Rainey 1973, 11)

The Barley Pound mosaic was surrounded by an “inferior pavement of pieces of brick about an inch and a half square” (Jefferson 1817, 6-7) It was not long for news of the discovery to spread and sadly some boys and other “ignorant visitors” started to damage it. This led to a building being erected to protect it. (Jefferson 1817, 8)

Even though a hut was built over the mosaic to protect it, gradually pieces of the pavement were removed by visitors, until nothing remained. Fortunately, Charles Lefroy, had an illustration made of the mosaic, which now resides at the Hampshire Record Office, a copy of which is shown below:

Ilustration mosaic pavement

Figure 3 – Illustration of Barley Pound Mosaic 1858

Attached to the illustration, is a manuscript by Charles Lefroy dated 1858. Interestingly, the date of the mosaic find is quoted as 1819, two years different from all other records. It reads as follows:

“Copy of the tessellated pavement of a Roman Villa discovered in Crondall parish in the year 1819, in a field near Barley Pound, south of this church and not far from the old encampment in Barley Pound Coppice. This beautiful pavement, perfect when found was impaired and pieces taken away by visitors and has at last been entirely picked up and removed. CEL 1858”

This is the same Charles Lefroy who aged eighteen found the Crondall Hoard of Anglo-Saxon coins and jewellery in 1828. The Church he is referring to is All Saints Church in Crondall village where another image of the Roman mosaic hangs – a partially completed sampler.

sampler in church

Figure 4 – Sampler of Barley Pound Roman Mosaic in All Saints Church, Crondall

Underneath the sampler the following is written:

This silk worked sampler is a pattern of a tiled pavement of a Roman villa found at Barley Pound Farm over 100 years ago. It was worked by my two Great-Great Aunts Sally and Beloy Garrett who lived at Crondall and went to Barley Pound daily to work the pattern from the pavement itself; they were not able to finish it as the pavement was destroyed. I knew my aunts, they were very old people aged 81 and 83 years of age.

The sampler came to my father, George Garrett who was 89 years of age and has been dead 25 years.

I am 77 years of age. I have given the sampler to Mr J Alfred Eggar, as the Roman villa site is on his property and I know that he will see that it is preserved for future generations of Crondall to see and hear about it.

Dated September 14th 1920

Charles Garrett, Pankridge Road, Crondall, Hants

Next to the Roman mosaic at Barley Pound Farm, two other floors were uncovered, one composed of small pieces of brick and the other of brick and tile. It was assumed that these were floors from other apartments. (Jefferson 1817, 8) This field had been nicknamed “The Tile Field” due to the amount of Roman tiles found as well as brick and the foundations of a building. A couple of small coins were also found, one of Antonius Pius and one of Constantine. They were handed over to Mrs Debrett of Chelsea, the then owner of the farm. (Jefferson 1817,11, Burningham 1859, 299)

 View from the villa


Fig 5 -The view today from the site of Barley Pound Villa

The Mystery of the Marble Head

Left to All Saints Church, Crondall in a will of 1962, a life- sized marble head has for years been subject to much debate and intrigue. Locally, it is reputed to have come from the Roman villa at Barley Pound but no mention of it is made with regards to the find of the mosaic. (Millett 1977, 352) It appears to have been kept outside for some time having been covered in lichen. Its unknown provenance (origins) have meant the church’s recent attempt at valuation being unsuccessful.

The head, which is currently not on display, was examined in 1977 by local archaeologist Martin Millett (now Professor of Classical Archaeology at Cambridge University) He deduced that there were two main features that could put doubt on it being authentic and Roman. Firstly, the eyes, cut very deeply, appeared staring and “out of character with the rest of the head.” However,  parallels to this were acknowledged citing the Louvre’s Titios Gamelos.  Secondary indentations could have been  made to the statue to pretty the face up at a later date. Secondly,  the flattened curly head which “slopes evenly away from the face.” was unusual. This of course could be explained by the fact that it was deliberately made to fit in a niche and would have been seen from below making the flattened head invisible. (Millett 1977, 351)

Other parallels for the head exist in “Antinous type heads from the Hadrianic date (117-138AD).” (Millett 1977, 351) Antinous was the Emperor Hadrian’s lover and was deified after his death with numerous statues and busts produced.


Figure 6- Side view of the marble head showing flattened face and head

The conclusion that Millett comes to is that the head probably comes from a full- length statue due to the angle of the head. The type of marble used is from Greece and this could point to it being brought back from a Grand Tour, a European trip made by the upper classes to view art and culture. (Millett 1977, 352)  However, this is all pure speculation. It could of course be true that the head comes from the villa at Barley Pound but until it is excavated, we will never perhaps know.

I recently went to see the head for myself, having made an appointment to see the vicar Reverend Tara Hellings at All Saints Church. Having a background in the Classics, she found the mystery around the head fascinating. It had been in the stores at Farnham museum for some time but had recently returned to the church and she was keen to find out more about it. The head was extremely heavy and difficult to move but we did turn it over and found indentations on the bottom which look like MDMLXII.

Rev Tara with Roman head in Vestry 23 8 17Figure 7 – The Roman head with Reverend Tara Hellings from All Saints Church, Crondall

Roman head carving on base

Figure 8 – The reverse of the Roman head

The hoard of Roman Coins

So, we have the mystery of the Roman head but we also have the case of the unknown whereabouts of 300 Roman coins dated to the end of the 3rd century A.D. They were dug up at Barley Pound in 1869. In 1873/4 a Mr Hawgood, furniture dealer in East Street, Farnham appears to have acquired either the majority or all of the hoard. It was at this furniture dealer that more than 200 of the coins were sold to someone of the name of Webb. Enquiries made to the Farnham Society have yielded no results as to who Mr Hawgood or Webb may be. So, if this makes any sense to you then, let me know.

Roman Pottery Finds

Field walking just south of the Barley Pound Villa site in 1980 also yielded finds of 1st and 2nd century A.D. Roman pottery. These are shown below:

Roman pottery south of barley pound crop

Figure 9 – Roman pottery found during field walk in 1980

If you want to  find out more about Romano- British mosaics click below:



Anon (DU) Tesselated Pavement at Barley Pound, article (possibly Farnham Society newsletter) with mosaic illustration held in Hampshire Environment Record at Hampshire Cultural Trust Archaeology Collections

Burningham, T. (1859) Archaeological Journal, volume 16 London:298-299 available online at https://www.forgottenbooks.com/en/books/TheArchaeologicalJournal1859_10003244 accessed 13/12/17

Jefferson, J (1817) An account of the Roman Mosaic Pavement found at Badley Pound Farm. Basingstoke: S Chandler held at Hampshire Cultural Trust Archaeology Collections, Chilcomb House Winchester

Millett, M (1977) A Marble Head from Crondall, Britannia, Vol. 8 . Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies: 351-352

Rainey, A. (1973) Mosaics in Roman Britain: A Gazeteer. Newton Abbott: David and Charles Publishers


Figure 1 – Site of the Barley Pound Roman villa copyright Digimap licence for educational use only

Figure 2 – – Map from 1870 showing Barley Pound Roman Villa Surrey XXIX (includes: Bentley; Crondall; Froyle; Long Sutton.) Surveyed: 1870 to 1872 Published: 1873 to 1875 http://maps.nls.uk/view/102352864 accessed 12/12/2017

Figure 3 – Coloured illustration of the tessellate pavement found at Roman villa with manuscript note attached 1858 original in Hampshire Records Office, Winchester Reference TOP84/2/5

Figure 4 – Sampler of Barley Pound Roman Mosaic in All Saints Church, Crondall by Linda Munday 23/8/17

Figure 5 – The view today from the site of Barley Pound Villa by Linda Munday 23/8/17

Figure 6 – Side view of the marble head showing flattened face and head by Linda Munday 23/8/17

Figure 7 – The Roman head with Reverend Tara Hellings by Linda Munday 23/8/17

Figure 8 – The reverse of the Roman head 23/8/17 by Linda Munday 23/8/17

Figure 9 – Sherds of Roman pottery from south of Barley Pound held at Hampshire Cultural Trust Archaeology Collection, Chilcomb House, Winchester. Accession no. A1980.16 Photo by David Allen


Hampshire excavations # 14

A look at classic excavations around the county, large and small; Neolithic, Bronze Age and later finds at Easton Lane.


Off with the ploughsoil…

Excavations at the Easton Lane Interchange, on the line of the M3 motorway, began in August 1982 in an area of 15 ha of almost no known archaeology. Initially a 10% sample was cleared by machine, followed by an evaluation of the identified archaeological features. Subsequently, several selected areas were excavated under the supervision of Peter Fasham on behalf of, or with assistance from, the Department of Environment, Winchester City Council, Hampshire County Council and the Trust for Wessex Archaeology.


…and the archaeological features start to show in the chalk

Early Neolithic pottery, including some Peterborough and Grooved ware, was recovered from postholes and later features. Some of the Later Neolithic pottery was excavated from a post-built circular structure and four pits, two of which contained human remains.

One of these was of a 35-45 year-old male, inserted into the pit when it was half full. The remains had been disturbed but in the area of the groin there were five barbed and tanged flint arrowheads and four fragmentary antler spatulae. All of these had possibly been deposited in a bag. Slightly to one side were a bone awl (needle) and another barbed and tanged arrowhead. A group of freshly struck flint flakes was also present. The finds indicate a Beaker period burial and the skeleton was sampled as part of the ‘Beaker isotope project: mobility, migration and diet in the British Early Bronze Age’


MS (miscellaneous structure) 2159 – given a Middle Bronze Age date by the excavators because of the associated pottery. Scale 2m.

Other Early Bronze Age finds and features were more widely dispersed across the site and included a group of 15 postholes in an area 9m x 19m. A variety of pottery was recovered including Beakers, Collared Urns, Food Vessels and two Biconical Urns placed one inside the other.

Both urned and unurned cremations were located in shallow features, whilst a disarticulated medieval inhumation had disturbed an Early Bronze Age burial. Another crouched burial of a 35-45 year old female was accompanied by a necklace of 30 amber, jet and lignite beads. The beads fall into two types; small disk beads which could date from the Neolithic onwards, and small-long ‘oblate’ beads which are much rarer, occurring at only eight sites in Britain [1989 information] These are strongly associated with Bronze Age ‘Wessex burials’.


Female burial with beads from a necklace? in the foreground


The complete burial

In summary, this initially unpromising site uncovered a wealth of material from the fourth millennium BC to the Early Medieval period. Finds and features ranged from grave goods in cemeteries to substantial settlement areas, following the ebb and flow of human activity on this particular piece of Hampshire chalkland.


Archive held by Hampshire Cultural Trust as A1987.14


Fasham P, Farwell D, Whinney R, (1989) The Archaeological Site at Easton Lane, Winchester, Hants Field Club & Archaeol Soc Mono 6

Series by:

Anne Aldis, Dave Allen, Sarah Gould, Lesley Johnson, Jane King, Peter Stone


Education! Pete Fasham addresses a group of archaeology students…


#Hart Heritage 1 – Jane Austen and the Crondall Hoard by Linda Munday

It’s the 18th July 2017 and the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death. As I am researching the Anglo Saxon coins find in Hart called the Crondall Hoard, I come across a name that I am all too familiar with – Lefroy.

The Lefroy’s were a wealthy and influential family in North Hampshire and Jane Austen was good friends with Anne Lefroy who was married to George, the rector of Ashe, a village located two miles away from Jane’s home in Steventon. It was in fact Anne Lefroy in 1796 who introduced Jane to her nephew Tom Lefroy who was to become well known as Jane’s main love interest and the “one that got away.”

James Edward Austen-Leigh, Jane’s nephew, describes Jane and Tom as “two bright young persons (who) were, for a short time, intimately acquainted with each other, and then separated on their several courses, never to meet again.” (Austen-Leigh 1871, 56)

It was expected by his family that Tom have a career in the bar and become a successful lawyer. It was this that saw Tom return to London from Ashe for his studies. He eventually went home to Ireland where he become Lord High Justice and outlived Jane for many years. (Le Faye 2003, 93)

Jane Austen Woodcut

Figure 1 – Jane Austen courtesy of Jane Austen’s House Museum, Chawton

So, you are wondering what this has got to do with the Crondall Hoard. Well, it was Charles Lefroy, Anne Lefroy’s grandson and Tom Lefroy’s second cousin, who, whilst out riding one day in 1828, made an amazing discovery of a hoard of Anglo Saxon coins and jewellery. Ok, it’s a lose connection but the synchronisation of the anniversary of Jane’s passing and the discovery of the Lefroy connection warrants mentioning.

In a letter to the Numismatic Chronicle in 1843, he describes the area of the find as heathland located within one mile or more of an Iron Age hill fort called “Caesar’s Camp” (near Aldershot.) However, in 1905 the Reverend Charles Drummond Stooks makes reference to the find being at Bourley Bottom which is only ½ a mile to the west of Caesar’s Camp (Stooks 1905, 38)  To make things more confusing, historic maps mark the find in modern day Church Crookham, 1.7 mile from Caesar’s camp. The county map dating back to 1912 shows them at the junction between Bowenhurst Road and Aldershot Road, now the car park of the Holy Trinity church. Earlier maps of the 19th century mark the same spot.

Map 1912 no copywright restrictions

Figure 2 – 1912 County map showing “Ancient Coins found A.D.1928”

Map of hoard find

Figure 3 –  OS Map showing Crondall Hoard find. © Crown Copyright and Database Right (2017). Ordnance Survey (Digimap Licence)

In a letter to the Numismatic chronicle dated June 13th 1843, Charles Lefroy recounts how he initially thought he was looking at waistcoat buttons sitting on some upturned turf but on further examination he saw they were gold coins and two jewelled ornaments with chains. The letter can be read in full below:

Dear Sir –

The coins which you have received from me for the purpose of publication in the Numismatic Chronicle were found by myself in the autumn of 1828 on a heath in the parish of Crondall in Hampshire. This heath is a continuation of Bagshot Heath. The boundary of the counties of Surrey and Hampshire cross it in the parish of Crondall, skirting an old encampment, situated on the abrupt point of a hill called “Caesar’s Camp within about a mile of which or a little more on the flat waste below I discovered these coins. A turf had been pared off for firing in the usual manner, leaving a smooth “dished” surface on the centre of which I saw a little heap of apparently brass waistcoat buttons lying mixed with earth but with the bright edges just washed bare by the late rains.

On picking them up they proved to be these gold coins and the two jewelled ornaments and chains. The coins must have been confined in a purse, though there was no trace of one left, as some of the stones set in the ornaments had fallen out but were found among the coins together with a little stone, since lost probably belonging to some other ornament which had perished. I had therefore no reason to suppose they had been moved, except by the turf cutter who I fancy cut them out in the middle of his turf which broke as he turned it over and the coins contained in a portion of the broken turf fell back on the spot without his observing them.

They were lying altogether on the surface completely cut out by the turf-cutter’s spade and upon a slight search which I made I could find no trace of any more. The collection consisted of one hundred small gold coins, the two jewelled ornaments and chain one of which was perfect at the time of their discovery and one fragment of a forged gold coin of which the circumference was perfect but the centre decayed. I should add that there is a slight appearance of something artificial in the state of the land in which these coins were found. It seems to be laid up in ridges following one another in curved lines over some extent of ground but I am not all sure that this is not a fanciful supposition.

I am &c &c.

C E Lefroy.

(Akerman 1844, 1)

Site of Crondall hoard find 23 8 17

Figure 4 – Holy Trinity Church, Church Crookham – find site of the Crondall Hoard

The Crondall Hoard and the start of English coinage

The hoard of over 100 coins found by Charles Lefroy in 1828 is considered to be “the most important evidence for the start of English coinage” after the fall of the Roman empire. (Ashmolean 2017)

After the Romans left in 410 AD, the use of coinage in England appears to have waned until approximately 530 AD when foreign coins mainly of the Merovingian type from France dominate. (Blackburn and Grierson 1986, 4)

The Merovingians were a powerful dynasty of Franks who took control in the early 6th century of the area formerly known as Gaul (modern day France) under the Roman Empire. They produced coinage mainly called ‘tremisses’ or ‘triens’ which were worth a third of the gold Roman coin, the Solidus. These tremisses were predominantly issued by ecclesiastical authorities and included the names of bishops and monasteries. However, there were also some coins issued with royal names. (Carson 1962, 284-5)

From the second half of the 6th century the coins showed the names of moneyers who produced them. When England started to produce her own domestic coinage in the 7th century, Frankish Merovingian coins were still being imported with a quarter of the Crondall hoard containing them. (Blackburn and Grierson 1986, 160)

crondall hoard ashmolean copy

Figure 5 – Coins from the Crondall Hoard Image © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford.

The Crondall hoard is dated to 650AD or earlier and contains 73 Anglo Saxon coins with 10 distinct types noted. Their design seems to have naturally been influenced by both Frankish Merovingian and Roman styles which were already commonly in circulation. (Archibald, Cook and Williams 2006, 161) The coins were struck or minted by using a coin die which contained the inverse image to be hammered onto blank metal. The coins in the hoard come from a small collection of dies with only 9 coins not being linked. This means that there would have been a small circulation of coins at this time. This is further evidenced by other coin finds of the era which are all die-linked to the Crondall hoard. (Blackburn and Grierson 1986, 161)

The coins in the Crondall hoard are varied with some clearly showing ecclesiastical power such as the coin below. Akerman describes this as a “full faced beardless head” (Akerman 1844, 10) which is how bishops and saints appear in medieval manuscripts (Ashmolean 2017) The letters LONDVNI are shown on the reverse which sets it apart from Merovingian coins and points to production at a church mint in London. (Akerman 1844, 11)

ecclesiasticalFigure 6 – Ecclesiastical coin 28 from Crondall Hoard Illustration from J Y Akerman pamplet 1844

One of the earliest coins in the hoard is attributed to King Eadbald of Kent (616 -640) who was the son of King Aethelbert. The obverse of the coin clearly shows the letters AVDVARLD REGIS which can be compared to the rendering of his name in latin. (Blackburn and Grierson 1986, 161)


Figure 7 – Eadbald coin from the Crondall Hoard J Y Akerman 1844

A single coin of this type was found in the Crondall Hoard and there was some confusion over its origins with Akerman suggesting it might be from the Lombard King Autharic who was poisoned at Pavia in 590AD. However, it is now understood to be the first ever coin issued in the name of an English King. Six other coins of this type have been found with the latest located in Deal in 2010 which can be viewed below. You can clearly see the world LONDENV on the obverse showing the die came from London as in the example from the Crondall hoard.

Eadbald coin


Figure 8 – King Eadbald coin found in 2010 in Deal Kent

Was the Crondall hoard compensation for taking a human life?

As there were approximately 100 coins in the hoard, there have been suggestions that this was an example of a Kentish Wergeld (literally ‘man-price’) which was compensation for taking a human life (Archibald et al 2006, 174 ). In Anglo Saxon and Germanic law a payment or wergeld was demanded of someone who had either harmed or taken another’s life. This was to prevent ongoing animosity and further bloodshed. This type of payment existed until the 9th century when capital punishment was brought in.

However, this suggestion lacks credibility because the Crondall Hoard did not just consist of coins, it also contained items of jewellery which clearly changes the context. (Archibald et al 2006, 174) As the hoard’s finder Charles Lefroy makes clear in his letter of 1843 “The coins must have been confined in a purse, though there was no trace of one left, as some of the stones set in the ornaments had fallen out but were found among the coins together with a little stone since lost probably belonging to some other ornament which had perished.” (Akerman 1844,1)

The items of jewellery are often overlooked and sadly, they have long since disappeared but we are fortunate that an illustration was drawn for the Numisimatic Chronicle in 1844 and is shown below:

Anglo saxon jewellry found with crondall hoard

Figure 9 – illustration from J Y Akerman 1844 of the Anglo Saxon jewellery found with the hoard

The design of the chains has been likened to that of Trichonopoly chain work which incorporates circular plaiting. The triangular ornaments, set with rubies, have been interpreted as symbols of the trinity. In the mid nineteenth century, it was assumed that these were of Anglo Saxon origin dating prior to the 8th century. (Akerman 1844, 11) However, an accurate identification and verification of these findings can sadly no longer be made. There are certainly some parallels to the design which can be found in some of the artefacts from the Staffordshire hoard.

So perhaps the Crondall Hoard was loot from a robbery or could it have been buried for safe keeping. It remains a mystery as to why it appeared from under the turf that day in 1828 and we may sadly never know its origins.

To view the Crondall Hoard and to find out more information, visit the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. Their web site below:


Saving the coins for the nation.

Originally in the ownership of the finder Charles Lefroy from 1828, the hoard eventually made its way into the hands of private collector and numismatist Lord Grantley of Winchester. Following his death in August 1943, representatives of Lord Grantley’s estate, Messrs. Glendining and Co, put the Crondall Hoard up for sale. On January 27 1944 the hoard was sold to coin dealers Mssrs A H Baldwin after they outbid Oxford University’s Ashmolean Museum. (Illustrated London News, 1944)

On February 5th, 1944, a letter from C V Sutherland, Oxford University Lecturer in Numismatics was published in The Times. He was concerned that the potential breaking up of the hoard for sale into individual pieces would “prevent any human eye again seeing the complete evidence” and future scholars would be denied “their own opportunities for independent examination.” He said the only thing left was for the public to get involved to save the coins and help the Ashmolean Museum acquire them. This letter prompted Charles Seltzman from Cambridge University to suggest action by the National Art Collections fund to purchase the collection.

However, it was an appeal to the friends and supporters of archaeologist and former keeper at the Ashmolean, Sir Arthur Evans, which managed to secure funding for the coins. By June, the keeper of the Ashmolean Museum, E T Leeds, was pleased to announce that with the “patriotic” co-operation of the coin dealers, Mssrs A H Baldwin, the Ashmolean were able to purchase the entire collection directly from them. (The Times, 1944)

The coins first went on show to the public in the Heberden Room of the Ashmolean Museum from 3rd June 1944. They have been on display ever since.

The stray from the Crondall Hoard

In 1844, Charles Le Froy and J Y Akerman compiled a list of the coins in the Crondall Hoard and illustrations were made of each different type for publication in The Numismatic Chronicle. However, item 14, shown below, appeared to be missing from the coin hoard originally deposited at the Ashmolean Museum in 1944. (Grierson 1953, 148)

stray from the crondall hoard

Figure 10 – Missing coin 14 from Crondall hoard sold separately

Akerman describes this coin as a “barbarous type and legend” (Akerman 1844, 8) This unusual looking coin had been described in the sale catalogue as from the mint of Agen in France but its origins are uncertain. Described as a Merovingian coin of “very rude design and execution”, It appears to have been sold as a separate lot, number 604, at Lord Grantly’s estate sale in January 1944. However, after being sold to coin dealers, Mssrs Spink and Son, Emeritus Professor of Numismatics at Cambridge University, Philip Grierson, managed to purchase it two years later and reunite it with the rest of the hoard at the Ashmolean Museum where it is called Crondall 17 bis. (Grierson 1953, 149)

Blog by Linda Munday – MA (CHaRM) University of Winchester l.munday.16@unimail.Winchester.ac.uk email available for contact until 1/9/18


Akerman J Y (1844) Pamphlet – Description of some Merovingian and other gold coins discovered in the parish of Crondall 1828, 1-12 – held at Hampshire Record Office Ref TOP84/1/21 and TOP84/1/26

Archibald, M, Cook, B and Williams, G (2006) Coinage and history in the North Sea world, c. AD 500 – 1250, Leiden, Brill

Ashmoleum Museum Oxford (2017) The Crondall Hoard available online at http://britisharchaeology.ashmus.ox.ac.uk/coins/crondall-hoard.html accessed 8/11/2017

Austen-Leigh James Edward (1871) A memoir of Jane Austen, London, Richard Bentley and son available on line at http://www.gutenberg.org/files/17797/17797-h/17797-h.htm

Blackburn M and Grierson P (1986) Medieval European Coinage: Volume 1, The Early Middle Ages (5th-10th Centuries) Cambridge, Cambridge University Press

Carson RAG (1962) Coins Ancient Medieval and Modern, London, Hutchinson (HCT Library)

Grierson Phillip (1953) A stray from the Crondall Hoard, The Numismatic Chronicle and Journal of the Royal Numismatic Society, Sixth Series, Vol. 13, No. 43, 148-149

Illustrated London News (1944) The Famous Crondall Hoard of Early Gold Coins, 19th February 1944

Le Faye D, (2003) Jane Austen a Family Record, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press

Stooks Charles Drummond (1905) A History of Crondall and Yateley, Winchester, Warren and Son.

The Times (1944), The Crondall Coins, Issue 49875, 6th June 1944, 5.


Figure  1 – Jane Austen woodcut courtesy of Jane Austen’s House Museum

Figure 2 – View: Hampshire & Isle of Wight XX.NE -Ordnance Survey Six-inch England and Wales, 1912 National Library of Scotland http://maps.nls.uk/view/101440194

Figure 3 – OS Map showing Crondall Hoard find. © Crown Copyright and Database Right (2017). Ordnance Survey (Digimap Licence)

Figure 4 – Holy Trinity Church , Church Crookham © Linda Munday

Figure 5 – Coins from the Crondall Hoard Image © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford.

Figure 6 – Ecclesiastical coin 28 from Crondall Hoard Illustration from J Y Akerman pamplet 1844

Figure 7 – Eadbald coin from the Crondall Hoard J Y Akerman 1844

Figure 8 – King Eadbald coin found in 2010 in Deal Kent

Figure 9 – illustration from J Y Akerman 1844 of the Anglo Saxon jewellery found with the hoard

Figure 10 – Missing coin 14 from Crondall hoard sold separately illustration J Y Akerman 1844


















The Hidden Heritage of Hart

Hart has a wealth of hidden heritage and is the only district in Hampshire without a museum or heritage centre. For example, hidden away on the Basingstoke canal by the River Whitewater lies the ruins of the  13th century royal castle of Odiham, also known as King John’s tower. In 1215,  King John made his way from here to sign the Magna Carta at Runnymeade. A truly historic event! Church Crookham near Fleet was also the find site in 1828 for 100 Anglo-Saxon coins called The Crondall Hoard, the first evidence for English money after the Romans departed. They are now on display at the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford University.


The Hidden Heritage of Hart project was created to research and showcase some of the interesting lesser known heritage sites along with archaeological objects from both public finds and excavations. Just four percent of the archaeological collection at Hampshire Cultural Trust is on display in county museums, with the overwhelming majority kept in storage and rarely viewed. This project is an opportunity to make them more accessible to both local residents and the wider public. The archaeology collection also houses photographic and documentary archives as well as a large library of books and other publications. These have also been a great source of inspiration and information.

The project has involved a lot of research within Hampshire Cultural Trust, The Hampshire Records Office and other local organisations such as North-East Hampshire History and Archaeology Society (NEHHAS) and Thames Valley Archaeological Services. It has been undertaken from July 2017 for six months whilst on placement with David Allen, Curator of the Hampshire Archaeology Collection. The placement is part of my Masters in Cultural Heritage and Resource Management (MA CHaRM) at the University of Winchester.

A number of articles will be appearing over the next couple of months on this blog listed under #Hart Heritage. The first one will be called Jane Austen and the Crondall Hoard. If you have any questions you would like to ask about the project, then please contact me Linda Munday, at l.munday.16@unimail.winchester.ac.uk This email will be available for contact purposes until 1st September 2018.

Hampshire excavations # 13

A look at classic excavations around the county, large and small; Bronze Age burials, Iron Age and Romano-British farming; Twyford Down – the last link in the M3-M27 corridor.


In March 1990 Wessex Archaeology was commissioned to evaluate the archaeological impact of the proposed route of the final stretch of the M3 motorway to the south and east of Winchester. This resulted in the large scale excavation of two areas which lay directly along the route on Twyford Down. Between April and November 1991 a team averaging 25 in number excavated a total of 3.5ha, in the area that would become the Twyford Cutting.

In ‘Area A’ excavation revealed a Bronze Age round barrow with Early and Middle Bronze Age burials, plus Late Bronze Age settlement evidence in the form of post-built structures and field systems outlined by lynchets.

‘Area B’ contained late Iron Age and early Romano British ditched enclosures, trackways and more lynchets, indicating intensive agricultural use of the Down.


One of the Bronze Age burials

The barrow survived as a penannular ditch surrounding a primary central cremation burial in a Collared Urn. There was no trace of a mound and it was presumed this had been removed by ploughing. Further burials, both inhumations and cremations, were located in the area enclosed by the ditch, as well as in the ditch itself.

In total, 19 inhumations and 17 cremation burials were identified and the full age-range from neonatal to older adult was represented. The penannular ditch also contained deposits of burnt material which were interpreted as dumps from the cremation pyres. Burial activity ended in the Middle Bronze Age.

Environmental evidence in the form of land snails, plant remains and microfaunal remains (small mammals and amphibians) showed, somewhat surprisingly, that the barrow was constructed when the Down was still covered in ancient woodland, which had only been locally cleared. The evidence suggests that there was very limited cultivation near the barrow and the clearance of the woodland to make way for agriculture and grassland did not occur until the main period of use of the barrow for burial purposes was over.


Further reading:

Walker K, & Farwell D (2000) Twyford Down, Hampshire, Archaeological Investigations on the M3 Motorway from Bar End to Compton, 1990-93, Hants Field Club & Archaeol Soc Mono 9

Series by:

Anne Aldis, Dave Allen, Sarah Gould, Jane King, Lesley Johnson, Peter Stone

Archive held by Hampshire Cultural Trust as A2001.40


An Ode to Twyford Down cutting (from someone who lives within earshot!)

This distant Niagara, this persistent Victoria

Falls upon my ears, as I lie in my bed

It’s been twenty-five years since they carved out the cutting, broke the chalk dam

And let loose the trickle, the torrent, the jam

But mostly, the torrent






Going underground…

Geological site surveys on the line of the M3 motorway.

Hampshire Field Club & Archaeological Society Monograph 7, Archaeology and the M3 (Fasham & Whinney, 1991) records the results of the ‘watching brief’ during the early construction period and includes a summary of the geological surveys which took place as part of the planning process.  These provided important information for the road engineers.


There’s a motorway on its way.

The M3 archive has a handful of images where the archaeologists were involved in or invited to watch these investigations, and they provide an interesting glimpse of some of the plant in use at the time – and the slightly less restricted practices than might apply today.

The object of the survey was to ensure the compatibility of the proposed road design with the existing geology, particularly where it came to embankments, cuttings and bridge foundations.  For the M3 a total of 142 bore holes were sunk (usually 150mm diameter and up to 30m deep) and 31 Special Test Holes were dug.  These were complemented by 75 test pits, to permit geological mapping of the substrata and allow the engineers to see the material at first hand.

Visits to 69 of the test pits resulted in the discovery of eleven archaeological sites and findspots, including an oval barrow (Fasham 1979) still existing as an earthwork in Micheldever Wood. Other finds included the ‘banjo’ enclosure previously explored in these pages and ditches full of Iron Age pottery.

The test pits also included soakaway pits dug to assess the rate of water absorption



…and boreholes in the Itchen Valley which produced examples of peat, examined for its pollen remains.


University of Southampton students – all very intent on their peat extraction.


Fasham, P 1979, The Excavation of a triple barrow in Micheldever Wood, Proc Hants Field Club & Archaeol Soc 35, 5-40

Series by:

Anne Aldis, Dave Allen, Sarah Gould, Lesley Johnson, Jane King, Peter Stone


Hampshire excavations # 12

WD site 2

Bird’s-eye-view of excavation in progress; St Swithun’s School on the Alresford Road on the skyline.

A look at classic excavations around the county, large and small; Bronze and Iron Age settlement sites and Romano-British enclosures at Winnall Down near Winchester.

The discovery of a Bronze Age settlement at Adanac Farm – subject of the most recent musing – brought to mind a similar find made forty years ago on the outskirts of Winchester.

A survey of potential archaeological sites along the proposed route of the M3 motorway, in 1974, revealed a complex of enclosures less than 2 km north-east of the centre of Winchester. As the area was earmarked for the ‘Winnall Interchange’ and would be totally destroyed, excavations, supervised by Peter Fasham, took place in 1976 and 1977.

The area examined was 1.26 ha (over 3 acres) in extent. The earliest features encountered were of Neolithic and Middle Bronze Age date (a ring ditch and a disturbed cremation burial respectively), but the later Bronze Age phase, consisting, in all probability, of four post-built round houses, pits and a fence were of particular interest because of the rarity of this sort of site.

winnall down_0006

A near-vertical view of the site with work  in progress – the enclosure entrance is to the left.

The Early Iron Age settlement was more emphatic, contained, as it was, in a D-shaped enclosure, with a single entrance on its west side. More than half a dozen roundhouses, 19 four post structures and 27 pits were recorded within the defined area.

The story continued with an open settlement of at least ten roundhouses, accompanied by 16 four-post structures and more than 80 pits. The pits, as with the earlier examples, provided evidence of general domestic activities, such as animal butchery, cooking, crop production and weaving as well as ritual practice.

winnall down_pit 6595

Ritual rest? Pit ‘6595’ contained the complete skeleton of a two-year old sow. The upper levels of the feature also contained the skeleton of a dog.

Eighteen complete, or near complete, burials were also unearthed, including ten infants. There were also 25 instances of ‘loose’ human bone. Finds of pottery and stone were abundant, but small finds, such as jewellery and tools, were not as plentiful.

WD skeleton 500

One of the Iron Age human burials. This adult male (# 500) was also placed near the bottom of a pit. Look closely – it’s a masterpiece of excavation.

In the Romano-British period four enclosures, represented by about 30 lengths of ditch, some recut, were linked by a track. There were five burials from this phase, the majority of infants.

winnall down_0005

Planning in progress

The excavator, while reflecting on the ‘long and interesting sequence of events…at Winnall Down’ reflected on how it formed only one part of the settlement history of the area. In this regard he drew attention to Winnall Down II, a second large enclosure to the east – outside the threatened area. In 2006, this was sampled by Oliver Davis. He excavated two sections across the ditch and two small areas in the interior, encountering eight pits. The pottery present was similar to that from Winnall Down I (the enclosure phase), making the sites contemporaneous in the 4th century BC at least.

WD site

Roundhouse ring ditches


Fasham, P 1985, The Prehistoric Settlement at Winnall, Down, Winchester, Hants Field Club & Archaeol Soc, Monograph 2 (more…)