Note on a British Chariot Burial at Hunmanby, in East Yorkshire


By T Sheppard, F.G.S Curator municipal museums, Hull 1907

In 1907 during the process of excavating clay for brick making in a pit close to Hunmanby railway station, a landslip occurred which exposed some articles of bronze, Mr Sheppard was acquainted with the circumstance, and immediately went to Hunmanby, where, with the assistance of Mr CG Danford, of Reighton, and Mr Parker, the owner of the clay pit, excavations were made, resulting in the discovery of a British chariot-burial. The objects exposed by the recent landslip were a bronze bridle-bit, and fragments of a thin bronze plate. Also, the iron hoop of a chariot wheel. From the specimens obtained the diameter of the wheel was calculated to have been nearly three feet. The burial was situated under a slight mound, or tumulus.

The grave was basin shaped, and the sides curved inwards. It was 11ft 6 inches across the top, and 3ft 6 inches deep. 

With regards to the age of the Hunmanby chariot burial, it seems probable that it dates from the second or first century B.C.

Records show in this district a tribe of the Parisi, the ancient tribes of the Brigantes also occupied East Yorkshire in pre-Roman times, but which was in occupation first, or whether both lived in the area as 'neighbours' is not known.

Mr Parker has thoughtfully placed the 'finds' from Hunmanby in the Municipal Museum at Hull, where they find a permanent home in the East Riding. 

Thanks to Brian Waining and Hunmanby Local History Group in 2009

If you have more information or are interested in History, this is the link to Hunmanby Local History Group facebook page

A number of objects have survived from the burial, these include:

KINCM;1942.3018 Copper alloy sheet fragments

KINCM;1942.3014 Copper alloy bridle-bit with iron link

KINCM;1942.3016 Two copper alloy terrets or rein-rings.

The above are on display in the 'Celtic World' gallery at the Hull and East Riding Museum

Chariot Burial found at Mr F.W. Parker's Brickyard, Hunmanby 1907

Further details from Hull & East Riding Museum

This is one of several free museums in Hull.

It is a great day out on the train, especially with a 'duo ticket'

Further details on Hull Culture & Leisure Museums and Galleries Website

Updated 21.10.2021