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Excavations at the Viking Barrow Cemetery at Heath Wood, Ingleby, Derbyshire


The cemetery at Heath Wood, Ingleby, Derbyshire, is the only known Scandinavian cremation cemetery in the British Isles. It comprises fifty-nine barrows, of which about one-third have been excavated on previous occasions, although earlier excavators concluded that some were empty cenotaph mounds. From 1998 to 2000 three barrows were examined. Our investigations have suggested that each of the barrows contained a burial, although not all contain evidence of a pyre. A full report of the 1998–2000 excavations is provided, alongside a summary of the earlier finds. The relationship of Heath Wood to the neighbouring site at Repton is examined, in order to understand its significance for the Scandinavian settlement of the Danelaw. It is concluded that Heath Wood may have been a war cemetery of the Viking Great Army of AD 873–8.

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D M Hadley and J D Richards (eds) 2000. Cultures in Contact: Scandinavian Settlement in England in the Ninth and Tenth Centuries, Studies in the Early Middle Ages II, Turnhout

J D Niles 1991. ‘Pagan survivals and popular beliefs’, in The Cambridge Companion to Old English Literature (eds M Godden and M Lapidge ), 126–41, Cambridge

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The Antiquaries Journal
  • ISSN: 0003-5815
  • EISSN: 1758-5309
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquaries-journal
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