The almost complete skeleton of an Anglo-Saxon individual – discovered under the driveway of a family home in Riddlesdown three years ago – is displayed for the first time in an exciting new exhibition from the Museum of Croydon.
The Bones of Croydon opened at the Riesco Gallery, Museum of Croydon, Clocktower in Katharine Street on Saturday 4 March and runs until January 2018. Entry is free and visitors will have the opportunity to see the human remains which were uncovered during building works in 2014.
On discovery, the police were called and a sample of the bones was sent to a laboratory in Florida for carbon dating. The results showed that the bones dated from AD 670 – 775, meaning that this person lived and was buried in the Croydon area during Anglo-Saxon times (AD 410 – 1066).
Subsequently, the remains of an almost complete adult skeleton, along with the incomplete leg bone of a ‘sub-adult’, were taken into the Museum of Croydon’s collections. In 2016, a human bone report was commissioned to find out more about these skeletons and what they could tell us about the Anglo-Saxon period. This was conducted by Dr Rebecca Redfern at the Museum of London’s Centre for Human Bioarchaeology.
The Bones of Croydon exhibition displays the human remains recovered from this site along with a selection of Anglo-Saxon archaeological finds from elsewhere in the borough, giving an insight into life and burial practices in Croydon over 1,200 years ago.
The name ‘Croydon’ has been suggested as Anglo-Saxon in origin, derived from ‘Croh denu’ meaning crocus valley. Over the past hundred years and more, evidence of Croydon’s Anglo-Saxon history has been discovered from several Anglo-Saxon burial sites, some of which is included in this exhibition.
The three main known Anglo-Saxon sites, at Lion Green Road, Riddlesdown Road and Park Lane / Edridge Road, were included in Historic England’s Archaeological Priority Areas in Croydon report.
“This is a really fascinating exhibition which offers a window into our town’s distant past and I would urge everyone to take the opportunity to see it. Everyone knows Croydon for its 1960s ‘concretopia’ architecture but people are less aware of its rich Anglo-Saxon heritage. With potential future excavation and research at these sites in our borough more Anglo-Saxon history could still be uncovered.”
Councillor Timothy Godfrey, cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport
Bones of Croydon
Riesco Gallery, Croydon Clocktower
Saturday 4 March 2017 – January 2018
Tuesday – Saturday, 10.30am – 5pm (except public holidays)
Please be aware and respect that human remains are on display in this exhibition.
For more information on the Museum of Croydon and other exhibitons visit their website.