DOR-34C984: Early-Medieval small-long brooch

Rights Holder: Somerset County Council
CC License:

Image use policy

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


Unique ID: DOR-34C984

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

An incomplete small-long brooch. The headplate and partial bow only remaining. The headplate is incomplete and has a circular hole pierced through at one corner, surrounded by an incised circle. There are traces of an incised circle at the opposite, broken corner, suggesting there was a second hole on that side. The plate constricts towards the bow where is is decorated with an incised saltire cross. The curved, tapering bow projects forward from below this cross. At the rear of the head plate is a longitudinal rib which was probably a lug for the attachment of the missing pin. TheD-sectioned bow is ornately decorated with a series of deeply incised transverse grooves above a central longitudinal groove with rows of upwardly angled grooves radiating from it along each side. At the end of the curve of the bow, it is decorated with zoomorphic elements comprising an incised downward chevron separating two inwardly pointed incised triangled framing a small pellet to form probable "eyes". From the end of the bow, the angle changes into the downward foot of the brooch before an old break. This short remaining section is decorated with another incised saltire cross. There are filemarks on the rear of the bow and around the rib at the head.
Date: Early Early-Medieval (Anglo-Saxon)
Dimensions: 35.12 mmx 16.26 mm x 3.27 mm. The curved bow tapers from 7.07 mm at the top to 5.17 mm at the break.
Weight: 4.01 g

Dr Helen Geake (pers comm) has noted that there is similar decoration of the bows of a pair of small-long brooches from Grave 108, Great Chesterford, Essex (Evison, V, 1994, AN ANGLO-SAXON CEMETERY AT GREAT CHESTERFORD, ESSEX, CBA Research Report 91, page 106, fig 43 & plate 11 h)
Dr Helen Geake has further commented that having a flat panel at the top of the bow is extraordinary for any early Anglo-Saxon brooch and that the cross decoration is a late Roman geometric motif transferred to several early Anglo-Saxon items, often those that are long and thin. See IOW-42AA02 (tweezers) SF7854 and SWYOR-3B3366 (wrist-clasps), NMS-675F27 (girdle-hanger), SF-00A81C and NMS-C94CB2 (cruciform brooches) and NMS-77F5A4 (small-long) for examples.

It is probable that the unusual features of this brooch are a consequence of it being designed and made locally, away from the areas where these are more commonly found.

Find of note status

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

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: EARLY MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 450
Date to: Circa AD 550

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 35.12 mm
Width: 16.26 mm
Thickness: 3.27 mm
Weight: 4.01 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Saturday 14th April 2018

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Ciorstaidh Hayward Trevarthen
Identified by: Ms Ciorstaidh Hayward Trevarthen
Secondary identifier: Dr Helen Geake

Other reference numbers

Other reference: SCMS 019366

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Incomplete

Spatial metadata

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

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: ST7716
Four figure Latitude: 50.9429762
Four figure longitude: -2.32873912
1:25K map: ST7716
1:10K map: ST71NE
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

References cited

Similar objects

Find number: SF-929216
Object type: BROOCH
A fragment of a copper-alloy early Anglo Saxon long brooch, either a cruciform or a small-long brooch. Only part of the top of the bow surviv…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Find number: SF-27E973
Object type: BROOCH
An incomplete early Anglo-Saxon copper-alloy brooch, probably of small-long type. It was originally identified as a great square-headed brooc…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Find number: LIN-956FE6
Object type: BROOCH
An early Anglo-Saxon copper-alloy small-long brooch. The headplate is square with three long flat rectangular knobs. The single complete knob…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: DOR
Created: 6 months ago
Updated: 5 months ago

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