Photograph of ET Leeds
Archives and Artefacts
Photograph of ET Leeds beside a trench
Exploring the Past through the Work of E.T. Leeds and A2A



The Anglo-Saxon cemetery at North Leigh first came to light in 1928 with the discovery of five burials by Mr Brown whilst quarrying in a field on the north side of the road to Wilcot. The finds from these burials included knives, a pair of iron shears and a decorated bronze work box or reliquary box.

Work box from North Leigh

Work or Reliquary box found at North Leigh (AN1929.399)

This small cylindrical box would probably have been suspended from a woman's girdle. The decoration on this box also has Christian connotations. These boxes have been found elsewhere in Anglo-Saxon England, however their exact use is still uncertain.

E.T. Leeds further excavated the cemetery at North Leigh the following year, when three more graves were found. One grave was that of a man but contained no grave goods. A second male grave contained a large knife and an iron buckle. The third grave contained a girl who had, by each ear, three silver rings on which beads would have been strung. The position suggested that these may have been earrings but finds from other Anglo-Saxon sites indicate that these rings probably formed part of a necklace.

Silver ring with bead from North Leigh

One of the silver rings (AN1930.722) found in grave 3 at North Leigh

North Leigh Anglo-Saxon cemetery appears to have been relatively small but it contained some interesting finds. The finds from this site are now held at the Ashmolean Museum.

See some of the finds from North Leigh


E.T. Leeds (1940) "Two Saxon Cemeteries in North Oxfordshire", Oxoniensia V, p21-23.

A. MacGregor and E. Bolick (1993) Summary Catalogue of the Anglo-Saxon Collections (Non- Ferrous Metals), BAR British Series 230.

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