SF9179: Medieval pilgrim badge

Rights Holder: Suffolk County Council
CC License:

Rights Holder: Suffolk County Council
CC License:

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Unique ID: SF9179

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Lead-alloy pilgrim's badge depicting St Andrew, now bent in half. An upright rectangular plaque, it has a surviving projection at one lower corner that would originally have extended to a stitching loop; the other three corners are broken. St Andrew is in the centre of the plaque, wearing a striped or pleated gown drawn in at the waist; his limbs are splayed as if attached to an X-shaped cross. He faces the observer, but his face is very crude indeed with two large round eyes, a round nose and two large straight lips filling the whole of the space.

The arms emerge from the gown to either side of the head; they appear to have some transverse lines, perhaps indicating ropes binding the saint onto the cross, and terminate in hands with visible fingers. What may be a spindly leg seems to emerge from the gown at the lower left-hand corner and turn two right-angles forming a knee and then a foot. Down either side of the crucified saint are crude letters; on the right-hand side they may read upwards ARTY (possibly part of the word MARTYR) and on the left by the legs there is an N. There is an A for Andrew beneath the feet. A badge of St Andrew found in Hockwold, Norfolk, in 1986 had the lettering MARTY[R] and the letter A between the feet.

These badges are discussed by Spencer (1998, 270-2); they were souvenirs of pilgrimage to St Andrews in Fife. It is interesting that they follow the Continental pattern of attachment using stitching loops rather than the English pattern of using an integral pin. Dimensions as bent, 19 x 25 mm; unbent length c. 41 mm.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Date from: AD 1200
Date to: AD 1500

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 41 mm
Width: 25 mm
Weight: 8.61 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Friday 1st June 2001

Personal details

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

Materials and construction

Primary material: Lead Alloy
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Suffolk (County)
District: St. Edmundsbury (District)

Spatial coordinates

Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Character undetermined

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: SF
Created: 16 years ago
Updated: 8 years ago

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