The site will be unavailable between approximately 8am and 8.30am on the 14th of July, 2022 for essential maintenance. We apologise for any inconvenience.

The British Museum

YORYM-C70664: Uncertain Date : Axehead

Rights Holder: York Museums Trust
CC License:

Image use policy

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


Unique ID: YORYM-C70664

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

A complete iron axehead of uncertain date. The axehead is of the bearded type being sub-rectangular in plan with an expanded blade with a pronounced downward projection. Much of the original cutting edge has been lost to degradation though it appears to have had a gentle curve. The socket of the axe is deltoid in plan with two sub-triangular projections from the bottom edge which would have stabilised the axe on the wooden shaft.

The metal is a mid orangey-brown colour and is heavily corroded. The axehead is 158mm long, 126.5mm wide at the blade, 71.3mm wide at the socket, 3.2mm thick at the blade, 40.6mm thick at the socket, and weighs 915g.

The shape and construction of this axe fits within a sub-class known as "bearded" axes. These were cheaply made, popular and widely available general-utility tools owned by many. National Finds Advisor Kevin Leahy states that Wheeler (London and the Vikings, 1927, 22-27) saw this type as developing in the eighth-ninth centuries. However, the type remained in use for a long period and Ian Goodall cites examples shown in illustrations of sixteenth century date (Goodall, 2011, 21-22).

Therefore due to a lack of contextual evidence with which to support a specific date only a very broad date of circa AD 750 - 1600 can be ascribed for this object.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: UNKNOWN
Period to: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 750
Date to: Circa AD 1600

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 158 mm
Width: 126.5 mm
Thickness: 40.6 mm
Weight: 915 g

Personal details

This information is restricted for your access level.

Materials and construction

Primary material: Iron
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: Yorkshire and the Humber (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: North Yorkshire (County)
District: Harrogate (District)
Parish or ward: Stonebeck Down (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SE1268
Four figure Latitude: 54.107745
Four figure longitude: -1.817958
1:25K map: SE1268
1:10K map: SE16NW
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

No references cited so far.

Similar objects

Find number: HESH-66CF45
Object type: AXEHEAD
Broadperiod: MEDIEVAL
An iron 'bearded' axe or axehead of probable Medieval date (1000 - 1500 AD). The axe is broadly sub-rectangular in plan with an irregular sha…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Find number: DUR-F7E257
Object type: AXEHEAD
Broadperiod: MEDIEVAL
An incomplete iron 'Axehead of Medieval to Post-Medieval date (AD 1000-1550). The object is sub-rectangular with a wedge shaped, downward pro…
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind awaiting validation

Find number: HESH-650301
Object type: AXEHEAD
An iron axehead of probable Medieval date (1000 – 1500 AD). The axe is broadly sub-rectangular in plan with a relatively regular expanded bl…
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind awaiting validation

Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: YORYM
Created: 9 years ago
Updated: 9 years ago

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