GLO-61557E: GLO-61557E Horse Bit

Rights Holder: Bristol City Council
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Unique ID: GLO-61557E

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

A fragment from a medieval copper-alloy curb-bit consisting of the end of the lower frame. Surviving is a slightly curved circular cross-section cross-bar that is flanked by an integrally cast upright rod on either end. At the centre of the cross-bar is an expanded moulded bead (14mm long), from either side of which the bar slightly curves upwards and gently tapers to a pointed terminal. Each half is decorated with a series of evenly spaced moulded and recessed concentric bands, there are six on the left side and five on the right side.

Intersecting both terminals of the cross-bar is a circular cross-section rod. Each rod protrudes 4mm below the bar, terminating in a D-shaped loop (for the reins), the section that extends beyond the cross-bar is truncated. This item has been gilded.

Length: 122 mm; width: 32 mm; thickness: 14 mm

The best parallel for this object is an iron curb-bit from Sulgrave, Northants. which Goodall (2011, 373; no. L47) put as 'Second half of the eleventh century, possibly just post-Conquest'. This is also the attachment end of the lower frame, and shares the rings on stalks;  its dimensions are similar and the centre of the single-piece bit is expanded, as your find. (Kevin Leahy, Portable Antiquities Scheme, pers.comm. 19.02.2015). 

Find of note status

This has been noted as an interesting find by the recorder.

Class: curb bit

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Late
Period to: MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1050
Date to: Circa AD 1150

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 122 mm
Width: 32 mm
Thickness: 14 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Thursday 1st February 2007 - Wednesday 1st February 2012

Personal details

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Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Manufacture method: Cast
Completeness: Fragment
Surface Treatment: Gilded

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Gloucestershire (County)
District: Tewkesbury (District)
To be known as: North Gloucestershire

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: From finder
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

Author Publication Year Title Publication Place Publisher Pages Reference
Goodall, I.H. 2011 Ironwork in Medieval Britain: An Archaeological Study London The Society of Medieval Archaeology 373 L47

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: GLO
Created: 7 years ago
Updated: 2 years ago

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