Royston, The One Hill. Grass covered mound in field. Newly planted tree on top with seats around. Woods beyond. 1903. Church Hill is a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to its large colony of Pasque Flowers. It sits directly above the Devil’s Hopscotch and prominently within the surrounding landscape. It is easily seen from the Icknield Way. The tomb, an unusual feature for this area, is probably sited in a depression in the hill which is clearly visible to this day. It was excavated on 5 September 1865. The local paper carried this account:’By the permission of the authorities at Therfield, an excavation was made on top of Church Hill, at the instigation of the Rev. E. Kell, of Southampton, and under the superintendence of Mr. J. Beldam. A cave was found upwards of 8 ft. deep, of an oval form, 7 ft. by 5 ft., lying from N.W. to S.E. About 2 1/2 ft. from the top was a deep cleft to the N.W. side, filled with clay. At the same depth was found ashes and charcoal, with fragments of a British urn baked outside, and a skeleton of a man supposed to be near 6 ft. high ; the skull was protected by a large flint. About 5ft. deep there was left a ledge, gradually sloping down ending in a pit 3 ft. long by 2 ft. broad and 1 1/2 ft. deep, where was found the fragments of a British incense vase. A flint arrow head was afterwards discovered. Besides these were found two large horns of an ox, and very many deer. The shells of the Paludina, which belong only to marshes and ponds, were in very large numbers, and many with the operculum perfect. The above are ready to be transferred to the Museum of the Institute, where they may be seen on application to the curator.” Royston Crow – October 1865


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