IOW-B00471: Medieval Pilgrim Badge (St. Barbara)

Rights Holder: Isle of Wight Council
CC License:

Image use policy

Our images can be used under a CC BY attribution licence (unless stated otherwise).


Unique ID: IOW-B00471

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

An almost complete Late Medieval cast copper-alloy Saint Barbara pilgrim badge (c. 1400-c. 1500). The badge is in moulded relief at the front and largely flat at the rear. At the front the moulded design depicts a nimbed and draped Saint Barbara standing beside the tower in which she was imprisoned and holding in her left hand a palm branch symbolising her martyrdom. She holds a sacramental wafer in her right hand. The rear face of the badge is flat and has the remains of a soldered copper-alloy loop for attachment to a garment. A patina has not survived and some of the surfaces are covered in drab green copper-alloy corrosion products. Where the metal is visible it is a dull reddish colour. 24.8 x 18.9 x 7.5mm. Weight: 2.99g. A similar pilgrim badge has been recorded from Calbourne Parish, Isle of Wight. See Portable Antiquities Scheme find: IOW-2A0A40. Other similar finds on the database include: GLO-D4BD11, SUR-7865B6, NARC-B9F6E5, and SWYOR-7707F7. The Oxford Dictionary of Saints has the following description. '[St Barbara] was shut up in a tower by her father Dioscorus, so that no man should see her. None the less princes sought her hand in marriage. She became a Christian while her father was away and decided to live as a hermit in a bath-house he had built. Here she made the workman add a third window in honour of the Holy Trinity. In his fury at her becoming a Christian, he nearly killed her, but she was handed over to a judge who condemned her to death. Her father was struck by lightning and died. This was the basis of her patronage of those in danger of sudden death, first by lightning, and then by subsiding mines or cannon-balls. Hence, her patronage of miners and gunners. The first known representation of her is an 8th-century fresco at S. Maria Antiqua, Rome; she is found, often with the equally mythical Margaret of Antioch, on late medieval English screens and stained glass. Her usual emblem is a tower. The painting of her by Jan van Eyck in the museum at Antwerp is probably the most famous representation' (Farmer, D. H. 1978, 28 'The Oxford Dictionary of Saints'. Oxford: Clarendon Press).

Find of note status

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

Sub class: Saint Barbara

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Late
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Subperiod to: Late
Period to: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1400
Date to: Circa AD 1500

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 24.8 mm
Width: 18.9 mm
Thickness: 7.5 mm
Weight: 2.99 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Sunday 21st November 2010

Personal details

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

Other reference numbers

Other reference: IOW2010-1-706

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Manufacture method: Cast
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Isle of Wight (Unitary Authority)
District: Isle of Wight (Unitary Authority)
To be known as: Isle of Wight

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: GPS (from the finder)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Discovery circumstances: Club rally
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Operations to a depth greater than 0.25m

References cited

Similar objects

Find number: SOMDOR-FF50A2
Object type: PILGRIM BADGE
Broadperiod: MEDIEVAL
Cast copper-alloy pilgrim badge. The moulded decoration depicts the figure of St Barbara standing next to a tower, holding scrolls. The front…
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind awaiting validation

Find number: IOW-2A0A40
Object type: PILGRIM BADGE
Broadperiod: MEDIEVAL
An almost complete cast copper alloy Saint Barbara pilgrim badge of Late Medieval date (AD 1400 - AD 1500). Length 24.0mm, width 19.8mm and 2…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Find number: SF-4949EE
Object type: PILGRIM BADGE
Broadperiod: MEDIEVAL
An incomplete copper-alloy pilgrim badge of Saint Barbara of Medieval date. It is missing the terminal of the spike due to old breaks, now wo…
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind awaiting validation

Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: IOW
Created: 7 years ago
Updated: 6 years ago

Other formats: this page is available as qrcode json xml geojson pdf rdf representations.