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Unique ID: NMGW3314

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Romano-British, copper alloy Colchester derivative brooch of the Polden Hills type. The brooch contains a bilateral spring of apparently six coils whose overhead chord is held in place by a simple rearward-facing hook. A copper alloy axis bar passes through the coils of the spring and is held by pierced circular plates at the ends of the wings (cf. type L Hattatt 1982, 49, table 2). The wings are semi-cylindrical and both accommodate and hide from view the spring mechanism. The pierced circular plates at the ends of the wings are larger than the wings giving them the appearance of decorative moulded ribs. Flat circular mouldings or "appendages" are present either side of the bow adjacent to the wings. The top of the head is decorated with three low, moulded ribs while the surviving, upper part of the tapering, bow is decorated with three narrow longitudinal ridges which bisect a series of transverse rib-like mouldings. The entire surface of the brooch, including the pin, is plated with white metal, presumably tin. The lower part of the pin, the end of the bow and the catch-plate are missing. Mid-first to mid-second century in date. Length (minimum) 40mm, width of head 20.5mm, weight 10.7 grams.


Polden Hill brooches were first defined and discussed by Hull (1967, 29; 1968, 80) and have been subsequently discussed by Hattatt (1982, 69-70, nos.24-26; 1985, 82-87, nos.374-383; 1987, 99-100, nos.895-905; 1989, 71-73, nos.1511-1516) and, with special reference to south Wales, Webster (1995, 74-78, nos.28-38). The type takes its name from an example in the Polden Hills hoard (British Museum acc. no. 46.3-22.120) (cf. Butcher 1993, 151). The Polden Hills type developed from the earlier Colchester type of brooch and is one of a series of types known collectively as Colchester Derivatives. The distinctive feature of the Polden Hills type is the fitting of the perforated end plates to the wings for holding each end of the axis bar (Hattatt 1982, 64, 69). The type comprises a wide variety of forms, the common feature of which is the spring arrangement (Webster 1995, 74). The distribution of the type is restricted to southern Britain and on these grounds it was originally considered to be pre-Flavian in date (Crummy 1983, 13); however, securely dated examples from the Roman legionary fortress at Caerleon suggest that some forms of the type may have remained in vogue until the middle of the second century AD (Webster 1995, 74; see also Mackreth 1972, 18).

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: returned to finder


Broad period: ROMAN
Period from: ROMAN
Date from: Post AD 43
Date to: Ante AD 150

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 40 mm
Width: 20.5 mm
Weight: 10.7 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Monday 1st January 2001

Personal details

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

Other reference numbers

Other reference: NMGWPA: 2001.25.1

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: Wales (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Monmouthshire (Unitary Authority)
District: Monmouthshire (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: Rogiet (Community)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: ST4587
Four figure Latitude: 51.579165
Four figure longitude: -2.795115
1:25K map: ST4587
1:10K map: ST48NE
Grid reference source: Centred on parish
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Current location: returned to finder
General landuse: Other
Specific landuse: Unknown

References cited

Author Publication Year Title Publication Place Publisher Pages Reference
Butcher. S in Woodward, A and Leach, P 1993 Brooches of copper alloy in The Uley Shrines, Escavation of a ritual complex on West Hill, Uley, Glos: 1977-9 London English Herit. Archaeol. Rep.
Crummy, N. 1983 Colchester Archaeological Report 2: The Roman small finds from excavations in Colchester, 1971-9 Colchester Colchester Archaeological Trust Ltd
Dudley, D. 1967 Excavations on Nor'Nour in the Isles of Scilly, 1962-6
Hattatt, R. 1982 Ancient and Romano-British brooches Sherborne Dorset Publishing
Hattatt, R. 1985 Iron Age and Roman Brooches Oxford Oxbow Books
Hattatt, R. 1987 Brooches of Antiquity: a third selection of brooches from the author's collection Oxford Oxbow Books
Hattatt, R. 1989 Ancient Brooches and Other Artefacts: A fourth selection of brooches together with some other antiquities from the author Oxford Oxbow Books
Hull, M.R. 1967 The Nor'Nour brooches
Hull, M.R. 1968 The brooches
Mackreth, D.F. 1973 Roman Brooches Salisbury Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum
Webster, J. Brooches

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: NMGW
Created: 18 years ago
Updated: 8 years ago

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