The Saxon monastery lay on the top of a small hillock of blown sand. Buildings 8 and 12 are shown from the NE under excavation.
An important monastic and aristocratic Middle Saxon settlement has been excavated at Flixborough, South Humberside. The site has yielded impressive finds, and was possibly founded by St Etheldreda, also called St Audrey, the daughter of King Anna of Essex, who passed through the district in about AD 670 while fleeing from her husband. Ben Whitwell, the Director of the Humberside Archaeological Unit, reports.
UP against the western dip-slope of the Jurassic limestone escarpment, wind blown sand has accumulated since the last Ice Age, forming dunes and warrens on the lands bordering the river Trent. This marginal land has repeatedly been host to settlers from the mesolithic period onwards.
Quarrying of this deposit of fine sand has from time to time turned up archaeologi
cal finds, just as the scouring action of the wind has sometimes revealed sites. Thus when quarrying began at Flixborough in 1988, Scunthorpe Museum decided to test the site's potential. From this came a number of middle Saxon burials with the type of iron hinges often said to be characteristic of the period, but like a number of contemporary artefacts actually continuing the form of objects equally at home in the Roman period. With the absence of Roman features, a rare, but most welcome occurrence particularly on such an exceptional site as this, these burials could be said to be middle Saxon and Christian, with just a few finds, such as a cruciform brooch, hinting at the possibility of a pagan Saxon presence somewhere close by.
On the other side of the dune, which formed a rounded hillock in the middle of the quarry concession, further trial work located a sloping cut into the clear sand, in which a profusion of animal bone and pottery mixed with dark humic soil had accumulated.
This was at first thought to be a grubenhaus, and Humberside County Council's Archaeology Unit were called in to carry out
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