Keys to the Past

Bamburgh Bowl Hole early medieval cemetery (Bamburgh)

Excavations at the early medieval cemetery in Bamburgh. Photo Northumberland County Council.
Excavations at the early medieval cemetery in Bamburgh. Photo Northumberland County Council.

This site is a large, natural hole in the sand dunes, known as Bowl Hole. In the 19th century blowing away of sand revealed a number of early medieval burials. Excavations by archaeologists since 1997 have revealed over 100 individuals and about another 30 grave cuts. The original cemetery may have contained up to 1000 burials. Radiocarbon dating has placed the latest grave in the 8th century. Most of the burials were aligned west-east, and only a few were found with any grave goods. This means they may have been the graves of Christians.
The cemetery belongs to the Anglo-Saxon 'Final Phase' classification, covering what is thought to be the generations around and after the introduction of Chistianity. Bamburgh is the most northerly Anglo-Saxon cemetery of this date so far recognised.

Reference number:N5252
Historical period: Early Medieval (410 to 1066)
Early Bronze Age (2600BC to 1600BC)
Event(s):PHOTOGRAPHIC SURVEY, Northumberland Coastal Survey 1992; GUARD
GEOPHYSICAL SURVEY, Bamburgh Bowl Hole Anglian Cemetery, Bamburgh, Northumberland. Geophysical surveys 2006; Archaeological Services Durham University
FIELD SURVEY, North East Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment - Phase 2 2010; Archaeological Research Services
DESK BASED ASSESSMENT, Two sites within Bamburgh Village 2014; Bamburgh Research Project

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See also:
Source of Reference
Local History of Bamburgh


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Please note that this information has been compiled from a number of different sources. Durham County Council and Northumberland County Council can accept no responsibility for any inaccuracy contained therein. If you wish to use/copy any of the images, please ensure that you read the Copyright information provided.