Stirrup Terminals

Introduction In the late early-medieval period, and early in the medieval period, certain stirrups were composites made of two metals: primarily iron, but with copper-alloy fittings.  At the apex of the tread plate at the stirrup’s base, where it connected to the arms, there was either a connecting or applied copper-alloy ‘stirrup terminal’. PAS object …more

Saddle Pommels

Introduction Saddle pommels capped broadly cylindrical protrusions at the front (pommel end) of generally post-medieval saddles. They could be held by a rider or used to retain the reins. Saddle pommels tend to be formed of two copper-alloy halves, soldered together, with a rounded end, itself sometimes with a central knop; some are of one-piece …more

Button and Loop Fasteners

Introduction Button-and-loop fasteners seem to have been multi-purpose, some perhaps for horse-harness (especially the chunkier earlier ones) and some for human clothing (Worrell 2008, 341).  Their core distribution in lowland Scotland and northern England, has been extended southwards by PAS finds, which are now well known from Yorkshire and the Humber, the East and West …more


Introduction A spur is fixed to the heel of a rider and used for directing the horse and encouraging it forwards. Because they are worn by the human, but only used for riding a horse, they sit awkwardly between dress accessories and horse equipment. Buckles were used for fastening spurs, and at least some can …more

Bridle Bosses

Introduction Bridle bosses are bossed mounts most of which would have been attached to curb bits.  They can usually be distinguished from other bossed mounts that would have decorated harnesses, particularly when considerable iron corrosion product is present, but qualifiers can be employed when recording such objects as necessary. PAS object type(s) to be used Use BRIDLE …more

Bit Links

Introduction Bit links are bridle fittings of the late early-medieval period attached to the ends of an iron snaffle bit to which reins were secured.  They were set outside and adjacent to cheekpieces. Their form is similar to double-ended harness links, but differ in the presence of the boss adjacent to one of the loops, and their generally …more


Introduction Cheekpieces are elements of bridle bits with either a hole through which a bit’s mouthpiece travelled and a loop for attaching the cheek strap of a bridle (in the late early-medieval period), or that were looped through the end-loops of a mouthpiece link of a bit (in the other periods); they were used in pairs at each end of …more

Stirrup-strap Mounts

Introduction Stirrup-strap mounts are thickly cast objects, generally of broadly triangular or of trapezoidal form and characteristically with a flange projecting from the lower edge of the reverse.  They tend to measure between around 35mm-50mm high and around 25-35mm wide, with examples only occasionally falling outside these ranges.  Examples will be of copper alloy, generally with …more