150 years ago, in 1866, Anglo Saxon remains were discovered at Upton Snodsbury. They were found in what was thought to be an Anglo Saxon cemetery by labourers digging for gravel. William Ponting, a grocer, with a business on the High Street in Worcester, reported in the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of London that the artefacts were deposited along with human remains in a trench 30 feet long.
The artefacts included around 130 amber beads, saucer brooches, square headed brooches and a cruciform brooch as well as spear heads, a sword, and two quartz ‘spindle whorls’. The iron weapons and spindle whorls had initially been discarded and considered to be modern. They had to be hastily retrieved from the workmen’s’ cottages in the village when the mistake was realised and were later exhibited alongside the brooches and beads at the Royal Archaeological Institute. The gravel quarry went on to offer up Ice Age remains too, such as a tooth of a Woolly Mammoth (Elephas primigenius), but by the spring of 1866 when Mr Ponting returned, the gravel quarry was closed. A selection of the finds remain in the Worcester City museum collection.