WAW-989551: Early Medieval Viking Stirrup

Rights Holder: Birmingham Museums Trust
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Unique ID: WAW-989551

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

An Early Medieval wrought iron stirrup of Seaby and Woodfield's Type 2cii. The 'bow' (the arch over the foot) is of D-shaped or triangular cross-section, with a curved arch at the top and tall upright sides which run down to prominent solid knobs or bosses above expanded decorative sideplates. The tread runs across at right angles between the top of the sideplates, and may have been made separately from the bow. One of the sideplates has seven round-headed studs or rivets visible, with very slight hints of similar bosses on the other plate; the sideplates of stirrups are often decorated differently. There is no other visible decoration. An alternative explanation for the seven rivets is that the tread may have been a replacement, re-set into the lower part of the stirrup, angled upwards to form a horizontal bar, and riveted to the sideplates.

At the top of the stirrup is a rectangular loop, thicker along the lower edge than the other edges and with a collar between the loop and the top of the bow.

The stirrup can be allocated to Seaby and Woodfield's type 2cii (1980, 99, figs. 7, 8 and 9). Seaby and Woodfield use the distribution of these stirrups to suggest that they were not introduced by Scandinavian settlers in the 9th century, but rather result from the activities of war bands led by Olaf Trygvasson, Sweyn Forkbeard and Cnut the Great during the reign of Aethelred (1980, 87).

The surface condition is abraded but stable due to conservation carried out by Lucie Monot as part of her degree at UCL during 2010. The stirrup measures 280mm long, 116mm wide, 74.7mm thick and weighs 863g.


Many thanks to Lucie Monot for carrying out the conservation work on the stirrup and to Sally Worrell for providing this opportunity of conservation.

Find of note status

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

Class: Seaby and Woodfield Type 2cii

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Donated to a museum


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Late
Subperiod to: Late
Ascribed Culture: Viking style
Date from: Circa AD 1000
Date to: Circa AD 1100

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 280 mm
Width: 116 mm
Thickness: 74.7 mm
Weight: 863 g

Personal details

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Other reference numbers

Museum accession number: WARMS:A13010

Materials and construction

Primary material: Iron
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: West Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Warwickshire (County)
District: Stratford-on-Avon (District)
Parish or ward: Butlers Marston (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SP3250
Four figure Latitude: 52.147366
Four figure longitude: -1.533762
1:25K map: SP3250
1:10K map: SP35SW
Grid reference source: GPS (from the finder)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

References cited

Author Publication Year Title Publication Place Publisher Pages Reference
Seaby, W.A. and Woodfield, P. 1980 Viking Stirrups from England and their Background London Society for Medieval Archaeology 99 7, 8 and 9

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: WAW
Created: 11 years ago
Updated: 5 years ago

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