BH-DC9077: Medieval lamp suspender

Rights Holder: St. Albans District Council
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Unique ID: BH-DC9077

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

A copper-alloy lamp hanger of Medieval date.

The artefact has been made in two pieces. The uppermost element consists of a vertical, oval-sectioned arm, the top of which flares into a loop. At the base of this arm is a spigot, which sits within a socket at the centre of the second element. This second element is set at a right angle to the first. Two rectangular-sectioned arms flare horizontally outwards from the central point, one being straight, the other curving inwards at its point. A third arm extends backwards from the centre, the three arms together forming a 'Y shape'. This third arm is of different form, the inner part comprising a sub-circular plate with single vertical aperture at the centre, the distal part being a short, upward-curving point.

Dimensions: 24.8mm high, 24.3mm wide, 19.1mm deep (front to back). Weight: 4.82g.

Similar artefacts have been found in excavations in London and are discussed by Egan (1998: 130-133). Their interpretation as lamp hangers is based on evidence provided by contemporary illustrations, along with the fact that some of those excavated retained portions of chains. The lamps themselves have been found in both ceramic and glass forms in London, the dates of their production spanning most of the Medieval period, although the ceramic examples generally seem to be earlier (ibid. 126-130). The hanger recorded here is of significantly different form from the London examples, all of which have a loop at the top, a central loop projecting beneath and a further loop at the end of each of the three arms. The lack of loops on the front two arms of this piece is particularly unusual and suggests it may have been made for a slightly different form of lamp.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1066
Date to: Circa AD 1450

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 19.1 mm
Height: 24.8 mm
Width: 24.3 mm
Weight: 4.82 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Thursday 1st March 2012

Personal details

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

Other reference numbers

Other reference: Ver 12/42

Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Hertfordshire (County)
District: St. Albans (District)
To be known as: Harpenden

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
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Character undetermined

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: BH
Created: 6 years ago
Updated: 6 years ago

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