Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Friday 6 October 2023

A ninth century brooch from Somerset

The Smithsonian Magazine reports about the impending display at the Somerset Museum in Taunton of a very fine example of an Anglo-Saxon brooch. It is dated to the ninth century and was found by a metal detector and acquired under the Treasure Act for the nation.

The sizeable silver brooch was discovered at Cheddar, which was a royal hunting estate in the ninth and tenth centuries, and as the brooch was found unaccompanied by other items was probably accidentally lost. Given its size and quality the owner  was probably someone of considerable standing.

Somerset in the ninth century was a significant component of the Kingdom of Wessex as it took on the leading role amongst the Heptarchy and then, after the Danish invasion, became the sole survivor under King Alfred and as it began to forge the bonds that led to a unified English kingdom in the tenth century.

The article about the brooch, and which includes an excellent photograph of the piece, can be seen at Rare 1,000-Year-Old Brooch Goes on Display in England

1 comment:

Matthew F Kluk said...

No one touched that brooch from the day someone put it on, until 10 or 11 centuries later, the detector found it. That is amazing!