Posts Tagged ‘medieval’

The key to the casket

September 3, 2015

Good old Norman! With over 1000 metal detector finds from the old recreation ground he could keep me in blog ideas for three years. Don’t worry. That isn’t going to happen.

If you want to see more of the finds, heaps of them, then come along to the Museum Miscellany on 3rd October at 7.30 in Market Lavington Community Hall. One section will be about the finds Norman has made on the field.

But here is one of them and as the title of this post tells you it is the key to a casket.

The key to the casket

The key to the casket

This is an object which Norman wasn’t sure about so he took it to the finds officer at the museum in Devizes who gave him the following information.


So we have the idea of a casket key from this and also know this is medieval. This is actually a very broad time period from about 500AD to about 1500AD. That’s 1000 years so not hugely meaningful. It covers a period from not long after the Romans left our shores, through those dark ages of Vikings Saxons and the country divided into different kingdoms, through the Norman Conquest and right up to the Tudor period.

But even with a broad date it is still a nice little item and we can picture the irritation of a person who lost it and was left with no option but to break into the casket to gain access to the contents.

And now it has a home at Market Lavington Museum as an interesting and older curio found on our former recreation ground.


Part of a casting mould?

April 28, 2013

Today we are looking at a much older item than usual. Mostly, we don’t have what counts as ‘archaeology’ in Market Lavington Museum, but we do have a display cabinet devoted to finds on the Grove Farm estate – where Saxon and Roman settlements were uncovered and we do have other items found locally as one off items. That’s what we are looking at today.

This is a piece of shaped stone – clearly shaped to serve a purpose. It’s about 3’5 centimetres in diameter and 2 centimetres deep.

Part of a lead casting mould found at Northbrook, Market Lavington

Part of a lead casting mould found at Northbrook, Market Lavington

This has clearly been deliberately shaped. Probably there was a second half which more or less matched, but without the hole through. The experts think this is a small crucible or a mould for casting something in lead. Lead shot has been suggested but we are not convinced due to the depression not being hemispherical. In fact, we are not sure how that depression can have filled, if molten lead was poured in at the top.

The top of this piece looks like this.

The recess used when pouring molten lead

The recess used when pouring molten lead

Here we can see a recess into which molten lead could be poured so that it could pass through the hole and into the mould.

This item came from a garden in Northbrook and is believed to be from the late medieval period.

Of course, we’d appreciate any further information.

A Grave Find

December 9, 2011

Piece of pottery found whilst grave digging at the cemetery in Market Lavington in 2002

This rather jagged fragment of pottery was found by James Winchcombe from the well known funeral directors in Devizes. He was digging a grave at the cemetery in 2002 when he came up with this and, thinking it was old, it came to the museum.

It is a small part of a bowl

We can see from this view that this is a pot shard – a part of a bowl.

Back in 2002 Paul Robinson curated the museum in Devizes and he identified and dated this piece. It is a part of a red earthenware pot and dates from the 11th or 12th century.

As such, it forms part of the evidence for continuous or near continuous habitation in the Market Lavington area for the last 2000 years.