West Hanney shown within Oxfordshire
|Population||496 (2001 census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Civil parish||East Hanney|
|District||Vale of White Horse|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
West Hanney is a village and civil parish about 3 miles (5 km) north of Wantage. Historically West and East Hanney were formerly a single ecclesiastical parish of Hanney. East Hanney was part of Berkshire until the 1974 boundary changes transferred the Vale of White Horse to Oxfordshire.
In September 2009 a metal detecting club held its annual rally at a site in the parish. One detectorist found a Saxon grave from early in the 7th century AD containing the skeleton of a young woman with grave goods including one spindle whorl, two iron knives and two ceramic pots that may have contained food.
Near the grave the detectorist found an ornate circular Saxon metal brooch inlaid with gold, garnets and coral. This type of brooch was previously known from Kent, East Anglia, Essex and Bedfordshire but the one from West Hanney is further west than all previously found examples, making it "a find described as of national importance". It has yet to be determined where the brooch may have been made.
Also yet to be determined is whether the young woman belonged to the local Saxon Gewisse tribe. She was about 25 years old when she died, and shortly after her grave was discovered an osteologist said that her skeleton would be examined to try to determine her cause of death.
The tower has a ring of six bells. Abraham I Rudhall of Gloucester cast five of them in 1702, but Charles and George Mears of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry cast the other in 1856. St. James' has a Sanctus bell that Robert I Wells of Aldbourne cast in about 1760. There is another small bell that Charles and George Mears cast in 1858, but this is currently unused.
- "Area selected: Vale of White Horse (Non-Metropolitan District)". Neighbourhood Statistics: Full Dataset View. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
- Page & Ditchfield, 1924, pages 285–294
- Welch, Peter (2009). "Saxon Grave". Weekend Wanderers Detecting Club. Weekend Wanderers Detecting Club. Retrieved 5 October 2011. — detailed photographic report on the excavation
- "Ancient skull unearthed on farm". BBC News. BBC Online. 21 September 2009. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
- "Archaeologists reveal secrets of Saxon burial grave at West Hanney". The Oxford Times. 24 September 2009. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
- "8. The West Hanney Saxon Skull and Brooch". Treasure Island — the best archaeological finds in Britain. The Independent. September 2009. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
- "Open day to feature Anglo-Saxon brooch". News. Oxfordshire County Council. 3 October 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
- Davies, Peter (3 May 2011). "W Hanney S James Gt". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
- Dovemaster (25 June 2010). "Bell Founders". Dove's Guide for Church Bell Ringers. Retrieved t October 2011.
- Pevsner, 1966, page 293
- The Plough Inn
- Page, W.H.; Ditchfield, P.H., eds. (1924). A History of the County of Berkshire, Volume 4. Victoria County History. pp. 285–294.
- Pevsner, Nikolaus (1966). Berkshire. The Buildings of England. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books. pp. 293–294.
Media related to West Hanney at Wikimedia Commons