Sunday 24 May 2020

Norfolk discovery of 1,100-year-old brooch 'will remain a mystery'

Experts at the British Museum say the brooch is of "national significance"

The origins of a 1,100-year-old brooch found in a lorry-load of soil may be "a mystery" that is never solved, say archaeologists.

The late 9th Century silver disc was discovered in a field in Great Dunham, Norfolk, which had recently been landscaped.

It is not known where the soil came from, but experts say the find is similar to the nearby Pentney Hoard.

The British Museum said the discovery was of "national importance".

An inquest - the process by which the find may be officially declared treasure - has been opened in Norwich and will conclude on 9 June.

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Thursday 7 May 2020

Cleethorpes teacher's Anglo-Saxon treasures sell for £30k

Hundreds of objects sold as part of the collection include spear heads, brooches and beads

Anglo-Saxon treasure unearthed by a history teacher in a field has sold for £30,000 at auction.

Gordon Taylor discovered the artefacts, which date back to 450 AD, in 1962 after finding a piece of bone in Irby-on-Humber, North East Lincolnshire.

It led to a 17-year excavation, in which items including a 1,000-year-old skull, jewellery, scissors and a spear head were also uncovered.

The 250-strong collection is believed to have been sold to a museum.

Mr Taylor, from Cleethorpes, died three years ago aged 88. His son Geoff said the family were "absolutely delighted" by the sale.

"I watched the sale live. I just called my mum and she is over the moon," he said.

He said he hoped the artefacts would be put "on public view".

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Sunday 3 May 2020

Peeling back the layers of a Saxon tower in Stowe Nine Churches, Northamptonshire

Once the situation allows, our Northampton historic building team are looking forward to being able to record and monitor the conservation of a church tower at St Michael’s, a Grade I listed rural parish church with potential Saxon origins in Stowe Nine Churches, Northamptonshire. In this blog, Historic Building Officer Lauren Wilson explains what she hopes to learn…

St Michael’s Church has stood on its perch overlooking the Grand Union Canal for over a thousand years, however the external render of the tower has been causing damage to its structure, so it is being removed so that conservation works can take place before the render is then reapplied using a more sensitive material. This gives us a wonderful opportunity to inspect the underlying fabric of the tower.

There are several questions that we are hoping to answer: How much of the upper stages of the tower retain their Saxon stonework? What is the relationship between the architectural elements like the iron strapwork, the phases of render, and the window apertures?

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