WILT-D3E2D4: Medieval steelyard weight

Rights Holder: Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum
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Unique ID: WILT-D3E2D4

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

Incomplete copper alloy shell of a globular steelyard weight, missing about a third of its surface area and all of its lead core. It is 63.7mm in diameter and stands 53.5mm to the flat top (72.8mm inclusive of loop). It weighs 145.98g. The loop is triangular in shape and 7-8mm in thickness. It is pierced by a 8.3mm diameter hole, rather elongated at the top to 9.1mm high. The loop is 32.5mm wide. The flat top from which the loop extends is 42mm in diameter. Below this is a frieze consisting of two parallel grooves with a zig-zag groove between, creating a border of triangles. Every other triangle is decorated with two horizontal grooves. Part of the frieze (circa one third) is missing where the weight is damaged just below the flat top. Below the freize are two shields in relief, the third missing due to damage. They are triangular in shape with a slight outward curve in the long edges. One shield depicts a lion rampant, the arms of Poitou and also for Edmund, Earl of Cornwall. The second depicts three chevrons and is the arms of de Clare. Edmund married Margaret de Clare in 1272. The third shield would likely have depicted the double-headed eagle (the arms of the Hansa merchants) or perhaps the arms of England (three lions). The inside surface is covered with a series of apparantly intentional parallel and diagonal grooves. Perhaps this serves as practice for the execution of the frieze? Steelyard weights would have been made by Edmund on behalf of the king. Edmund died in 1300 and the use of steelyards banned in 1350, so this weight is likely to date between 1272 and 1300/ 1350. Copies of steelyard weights were also made. The originals tended to have the frieze, as this one does, and three or four shields usually depicting the arms mentioned above. Copies often had shields with incised decoration, and not relief, and often had unrecognisable or fictional arms.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1272
Date to: Circa AD 1350

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Weight: 145.98 g
Diameter: 63.7 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Friday 1st September 2006

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Katie Hinds
Identified by: Ms Katie Hinds

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: Bromham (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: ST9864
Four figure Latitude: 51.375051
Four figure longitude: -2.030121
1:25K map: ST9864
1:10K map: ST96SE
Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 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: WILT
Created: 12 years ago
Updated: 8 years ago

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