Those who walk up the track past the farm will have noticed two uncultivated low mounds in fields on either side at the end of the road. They are early Iron Age burial sites now in the care of English Heritage. It was some time ago that I realised they were being gradually eroded through continual annual ploughing etc. and after a few years of voluntarily withholding cultivation a grant is now given by the above for their conservation

There is an account in the "East Riding Archaeologist" vol.10 2001 of their excavation by Dr Thomas Hull, a Beverley surgeon, in 1817 that revealed unusual features. Both contained complete skeletons that were lacking in several he had previously excavated in the next but one field, known as Hilly Field that contained only a mixture of bones and charcoal. One contained a single skeleton, the other contained two laid side by side. The single skeleton was laid on the right side, the thighs being at right angles to the body; the head inclined forward with the right cheek resting on the palm of the hand. There was no evidence of a grave, soil being heaped over the body according to general custom prevalent amongst ancient warriors.

The other Barrow or Tumuli contained two skeletons laid in a manner never before being observed. The bones were laid side by side but in opposite directions, the head of one by the side of the heel of the other. Dr Hull comments "I have reason to think that the bodies found here have fallen in battle".


#1 Thomas HullBryn Jones 2010-10-05 22:07
Thomas Hull was involved in the excavation of the barrows at Arras in 1815 and was also Mayor of Beverley from 1823-1824. Several directories of this period identify him as a physician living in Newbiggin.

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