The resting places of some of Aldbourne's oldest inhabitants have been discovered during an archaeological dig on the former Crowcastle site on the edge of the village.

Wessex Archaeology have so far turned up 12 graves, thought to date back more than 1,200 years, during their excavations.

They have been employed by Infinity Homes, who are building 15 houses on the site on Marlborough Road.

Sue Farr, Wiltshire County Council's assistant archaeologist, said that the site was known to have archaeological remains but it was thought they only dated back to the 17th century.

She said: "A cemetery was known on the site previously when the original building was constructed on the site in the 1960s, but the archaeologists undertaking that work concluded the graves related to a Civil War skirmish.

"Based on the finds revealed during the current work, an earlier Saxon date is suggested, probably eighth century."

Richard Prynne, director of the Winchester-based developers, said that the archaeologists were likely to continue their investigations into next week.

He said: "So far they have discovered 12 burials dating back to the 7th century AD, one of which contained a simple iron knife, which enabled them to date the findings."

But he warned that unauthorised entry onto the site would not be tolerated.

He said: "Infinity and Wessex are very keen to ensure the investigation works are carried out professionally and thoroughly without interruption.

"Unauthorised access to the site could disturb the findings and would be in breach of health and safety regulations.

"Please remember it is a construction site and therefore dangerous."