DOR-90D068: Medieval stirrup

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Unique ID: DOR-90D068

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

A complete copper alloy stirrup. The stirrup is bent and distorted. Originally a triangular stirrup with a rectangular loop at the apex for the strap attachment, The apex has a pointed terminal, concave at the rear and convex at the front,  with a circular aperture (4.9 mm diameter), possibly for the attachment of a decorative mount. At the lower edge of the rectangular loop the frame is thickened and D-shaped in cross section. It is recessed from the sides at the rear. The sides of the stirrup have a shallow D-shaped cross section and are angled outwards to the base. The corners at the base are rounded and expanded from the sides, flaring into a thickened oval tread-plate.  Projecting downwards at a right angle from the rear of the tread-plate is a necked trefoil or lis-shaped element. The surfaces of the stirrup are corroded, but some areas retain traces of gilding.
Date: Medieval - c. 1150 - 1300
Dimensions: 154.3 mm x 84.7 mm x 28.9 mm Sides thickness 2.1 mm  Apex loop internal dimensions- 16.4 mm x 13.8 mm Footplate width - 31.9 mm Footplate thickness -  6.2 mm
Weight: 75.52 g

Rob Webley has kindly commented:

As you know, complete stirrups are very rare, but the form seems fine to me for something around the 13th century; in a very broad sense, compare those in Clark (2004 [1995], 72-73; figs 82, 83). It lacks the applied embellishment of the 11th-century series and the cover plates of the 14th-century and later examples (see the online FRG). The element at the middle of the tread-plate looks to me more like a decorative lis-shaped projection, presumably in its original down curved position still. Again, this looks very 13th century, if not late 12th century; and the gilding is also consistent with lots of other c. late 12th - (first half of the) 13th-century metalwork. Going against that slightly is the perforation at the apex, which might suggest a reinforcing stud (as in Griffiths 1989, 3; no. 4); if there was a stud, and it was heraldic, it would rather be more likely late 13th or 14th century. But.... the overall feel of it aligns best with metalwork of the late 12th to late 13th century.

Find of note status

This is a find of note and has been designated: National importance

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Early
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Period to: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1150
Date to: Circa AD 1300

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 154.3 mm
Width: 84.7 mm
Thickness: 28.9 mm
Weight: 75.52 g

Personal details

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Other reference numbers

Other reference: SCMS 018924

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Complete
Surface Treatment: Gilded

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Dorset (County)
District: West Dorset (District)
To be known as: Rampisham

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: Generated from computer mapping software
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

References cited

Author Publication Year Title Publication Place Publisher Pages Reference
Clark, J. 1995 The Medieval Horse and its Equipment c.1150 - c.1450 London HMSO

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: DOR
Created: 11 months ago
Updated: 10 months ago

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