VM_365 Day 225 An Antiquarian Illustration of an Anglo Saxon grave

VM 225

The image for Day 225 of the VM_365 project is an illustration of one of the Anglo-Saxon graves from Ozengell, Ramsgate drawn by F. W. Fairholt in the mid 19th century.

The Anglo Saxon cemetery at Ozengell was discovered in 1846. While workmen were digging a cutting for the new South Eastern Railway line from Ashford to Margate a large number of graves were dug through in fields near an Inn on the road to Canterbury from Ramsgate called Lord of the Manor. Many of the graves within the route of the cutting were destroyed and their artefacts sold off by the workmen before any record of them could be made.

However, William Rolfe, a Sandwich Antiquarian, managed to secure a number of the artefacts from the cemetery for recording and was able to arrange for around thirteen undisturbed graves to be opened for investigation by a group of antiquarians including Charles Roach Smith, Thomas Wright and the illustrator,  F. W. Fairholt who drew many archaeological finds of the period.

Fairholt drew this image during his visit and it is an excellent representation of the layout of the one of the graves. The illustration shows the skeleton of a male, with the remains of a shield on his chest,  a spear on his left side, an iron knife at his right hip, a short sword across his pelvis and a pottery vessel at his right shoulder.

The cemetery was not investigated again until over 100 years later, during the 1960’s, 1970’s and early 1980’s and most recently in 2013.  Artefacts from graves investigated during the 1980’s have featured on Day 204, Day 206, Day 209 and Day 211 of the VM_365 project.

Fairholt’s meticulous attention to detail means that his contemporary grave plan gives a level of information comparable with those made over 100 years later.



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