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| Church Lawton Barrows |
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|Description ||Church Lawton Complex – Barrow Cemetery and Stone Circle
Church Lawton, near Alsager, Cheshire|
The barrow cemetery known as the Church Lawton Complex lies on land overlooking Hooze Hollow, near Alsager. It originally consisted of three Bronze Age mounds, but today only two (II and III) survive.
Church Lawton I (SJ809559) was cut through during the building of the A501 Newcastle to Sandbach road sometime before 1881 and what remained of it was completely destroyed during the construction of a petrol station.
Church Lawton III (South at SJ809557) is now nothing more than a slight hump in a grassy field, but it is one of Cheshire’s most important sites, for beneath the barrow is one of the county’s few known stone circles.
Church Lawton III was constructed during more than one phase and was used as an ‘open site’ prior to mound construction. Excavations in the early 1980s, revealed a circle between 22m and 23m in diameter of nine huge glacial erratic boulders with entrance gaps to the north and south. Two of the stones stood upright, while the other seven had been deliberately placed on their sides on the old ground surface.
Within the circle stood a turf and daub structure around 2.5m by 1.5m. This appeared to have been burnt and a few fragments of cremated bone were found close by. It was later covered by a low mound.
The second existing mound, Church Lawton II (North), (pictured here at SJ808558 ), was also constructed in two phases. The first consisted of mound surrounded by a ditch. In the centre of this mound was a ‘boat-shaped’ pit sealed with a wooden lid which proved to be filled with nothing more than sand. However the excavator believed it could easily have housed a crouched inhumation as any bones would have rotted away in the acid soil.
Eighteen cremation pits were discovered in the mound itself along with four outside the ditch. Some of these contained the remains of foetuses and infants, but the majority were those of adults. Also found were two Collared Urns, one with a cremation and one without, and two Food Vessels, one inverted and one upright. Two of the cremations outside the ditch were placed in sacks, one accompanied by a flint knife and the other by a battle-axe.
During the second phase the mound was greatly enlarged with sand and turf to a diameter of around 30m. Only one cremation was associated with this phase although there had clearly been a number of fire pits and pyres in the eastern section. Pottery was also found close to the surface, but this was badly plough damaged. Interestingly, according to the Victoria County History sherds of Beaker pottery are also reported to have been recovered from the ground surface upon which the barrow was constructed.
|Cracking stuff - great to see more Cheshire sites, even if it's grass!|
|just goes to show theres much more to find out.|
|Wow. I can overlook this site from my house but never realised it was there. Never heard it spoken about locally...|
|Thank you for giving so much background information.|
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