NMGW-1A8385: Early Medieval copper alloy buckle

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
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Unique ID: NMGW-1A8385

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

Early medieval copper alloy buckle probably of Anglo-Scandinavian type and 11th century date
The cast openwork buckle is incomplete, missing the frame (with a length of 38.5mm and a weight of 8.1g). The front plate is sub-rectangular (22.2mm wide, 25.2mm long and 2.2mm thick) with sides converging slightly towards the integral pin and recessed at the corners. The attachment edge has a grooved border and central slot perforation. The plate has intricate decoration in Urnes-Style comprising cast ornament now worn and corroded and encompassing closely-spaced circular perforations. The decoration is likely to have defined intertwined beasts motif, possibly incorporated with the wings of a bird but is now difficult to interpret. The integral pointed pin is of sub-circular section (With a maximum diameter of 4.8mm and a length of 13.9mm) and is positioned near the centre of the base. The terminal is worn and corroded but appears to have depicted a projecting beast's head, possibly a bird in flight. The fragmentary integral back-plate was narrower than the front (at 14.3mm, with a surviving length of 11mm and leaving a gap of 3.6mm - 4.4mm) and has broken through the rivet-hole. The buckle plate was attached using a single-separate rivet, secured through one of the perforation on the front plate and through the single perforation on the rear plate. The surface is worn and corroded dark brown with remnant traces of a dark-green patina.

This plate has been published in Webley (2018, 392) fig. 6(f).


The buckle is difficult to parallel in form, the decorative features can be broadly paralleled on other belt and strap fittings and on Late Saxon stirrup strap mounts, generally of 11th century date. The strap-end was found with an oval-sectioned fragment, possibly part of the frame (15.6mm long, 1.9mm wide and 1.2mm thick) with similar patination within the plates.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Late
Subperiod to: Late
Ascribed Culture: Anglo-Scandinavian
Date from: Circa AD 1000
Date to: Circa AD 1100

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 38.5 mm
Width: 22.2 mm
Thickness: 2.2 mm
Weight: 8.1 g

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Eirini Anagnostou
Identified by: Mr Mark Lodwick

Other reference numbers

Other reference: NMWPA 2016.25.1

Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Dorset (County)
District: West Dorset (District)
Parish or ward: Puddletown (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SY7694
Four figure Latitude: 50.74510424
Four figure longitude: -2.34152376
1:25K map: SY7694
1:10K map: SY74SE
Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: NMGW
Created: About one year ago
Updated: 6 months ago

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