LIN-0E3403: Early medieval (early Anglo-Saxon) great square-headed brooch

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
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Unique ID: LIN-0E3403

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

An incomplete cast copper-alloy and gilded early medieval (early Anglo-Saxon) great square-headed brooch dating to c.AD 500-600

Only the footplate survives, the bow and headplate have broken off. The patina along the broken edge indicates this is not a new break. One side is decorated with zoomorphic chip-carved style designs (Style I) organised by structural aspects of the brooch including the footplate central bar and a raised border. At the upper most part of the brooch, near the broken edge, are a pair of downward turned zoomorphic beaked heads depicted in profile. The zoomorphic heads have a raised oval eye, parted beaks that flare into scrolls and which appear to be spouting or eating a triangular form. The curved bodies taper towards the central bar of the footplate and are decorated with several raised lines and grooves. Below the pair of beaked heads the brooch widens and is decorated with asymmetrical design of zoomorphic limbs and circular motifs. Both edges of the central aspect have flaring semi-circular side lobes, while a third larger lobe known as the footplate terminal lobe is positioned at the end of the brooch. In-between the side lobes and terminal lobe are sub-oval flat zoomorphic lappets with a central eye and possibly a raised limb. The decorated side is covered in gilding. The reverse is undecorated and without gilding, it carries an off-centre longitudinal slightly-raised rectangular bar and at the uppermost portion of the brooch, near the break, is a folded catchplate. The pin is missing. The brooch is slightly bent in the centre, probably cause by plough damage.

(Surviving) Length: 84.41 mm; Width: 62.45 mm; Thickness (with catchplate): 9.57 mm; Weight: 56.58g


This brooch does not fit neatly in any of Hines' groups. It does share some similarities with the great square-headed brooch from Wasperton 50 (pl. 22b) with the undecorated footplate lobes and the footplate inner panel motif, the footplate central bar and the downward turned beaked heads at the footplate upper borders. However, it does not fit into Hines criteria for this group (VI). Further, this group does not have footplate lappets.

Find of note status

This is a find of note and has been designated: County / local importance

Class: Great square headed

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 500
Date to: Circa AD 600

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 84.41 mm
Width: 62.45 mm
Thickness: 9.57 mm
Weight: 56.58 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Saturday 21st September 2019

Personal details

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Other reference numbers

Other reference: US25

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Manufacture method: Cast
Decoration style: Figurative
Completeness: Incomplete
Surface Treatment: Gilded

Spatial metadata

Region: East Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Lincolnshire (County)
District: West Lindsey (District)
To be known as: Cammeringham

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: LIN
Created: About one year ago
Updated: About one year ago

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