Caldecott Anglo-Saxon gold ring

The ring is thought to date from the early 7th century AD. The four beads set into the ring are made of glass. The cross motif may suggest a link to Christianity, which was being introduced to the area around this time.

Anglo-Saxon gold ring, Caldecott, Abingdon. (c) Abingdon Museum

Drayton ‘Cursus’

Excavations of the ‘Drayton cursus’, an enigmatic Neolithic monument, were carried out AAAHS and Oxford Archaeology ahead of gravel quarrying south of Abingdon the 1980s.

‘Cursuses’ (which take their name from a Latin word meaning a race-track) consist of a pair of parallel ditches, which can run across the landscape for many kilometres. Their function is unknown, but they may have been used for processions or other ceremonies.

The Drayton cursus runs from south-east of Drayton village towards Abingdon. Its northern end has not been located, but the monument was at least 1.5 kilometres long.

Other things found during these excavations included a Roman trackway and field boundaries, and an early Saxon building.


Thrupp Cottage, Thrupp, Radley

Excavations in the garden of Thrupp Cottage in 2002 to 2004 found pottery and the stone foundations of two buildings. Most of the pottery was medieval or later in date, but some of it may be Late Saxon.

Thrupp is a hamlet in the parish of Radley. Today it consists of just three houses, but it was once much larger. In medieval times, Thrupp belonged to Abingdon Abbey, and the hamlet supplied cheese and eels to the abbey.


Horse and Jockey

Two skeletons were found by builders at the former Horse & Jockey pub in 2004. They were thought to be early Anglo-Saxon. Roman pottery was also found.

Bath Street

Excavations in the rear garden of a house in Bath Street between 1990 and 1998 found Roman ditches and five Roman cremation burials, two late Saxon ditches, and medieval and later features. Much pottery of different periods was also found.

Winsmore Lane

Part of a circular stone carved with decoration in Anglo-Saxon style was found, built into a wall in Winsmore Lane, in 1927.

It may have been an architectural feature from Abingdon abbey or St Helen’s church. It is now in Abingdon Museum.

Northcourt Cricket Ground

An excavation here, not far from the medieval barn at Northcourt (now Christ Church) produced two ditches and a few pieces of Late Saxon pottery, suggesting that the hamlet of Northcourt existed before the Norman Conquest. Northcourt is not mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, but this is probably because it formed part of Abingdon abbey’s large manor of Barton.

Vineyard (Cattlemarket) excavations

An excavation on the site of the New Abbey House Council offices found Iron Age houses, a Roman building and stone-lined well, Roman skeletons in lead coffins, Saxon buildings, features relating to Abingdon abbey including the cemetery where townspeople were buried, and a previously unknown cemetery from the English Civil War.

Abingdon Abbey geophysical survey

Geophysical surveys of the Abbey Gardens revealed the ground plan of Abingdon’s great medieval abbey church.

A Ground Penetrating Radar survey revealed details of how the church had been enlarged in stages over several centuries.

Day centre, Audlett Drive

An excavation here before the day centre was built found three early Saxon ‘sunken-featured’ buildings (6th or 7th century AD), and a Late Saxon ditch (around 1000 AD).

The ditch may relate to use of the area by Abingdon Abbey.