ANGLO-SAXON CEREMONIAL BUCKET
Our Museum has a collection of archaeological artefacts found in the surroundings of Leatherhead, both from excavations and chance finds. Some of the finds from the Roman villa on Ashtead Common are on show in the Museum (see the Roman Villa link).
We have the bronze mountings from an Anglo-Saxon bucket found in Fetcham in 1929 along with a sword and spear heads. We have had a replica made to show what it looked like (see photo). For viewers of TV's Time Team, this item bears a strong resemblance to one of the buckets excavated in that series. It is also from approximately the same age, 6th century A.D.
This is probably one of the most important finds of Anglo-Saxon artefacts in Surrey.
RETURN OF THE SAXON SWORD
By Graham Evans
Just before the Museum re-opened in April 2003, we saw the return of the Saxon sword and spearheads from the conservators. These weapons were originally found between 1929 & 1930 at Watersmeet, close to Fetcham Millpond when glasshouses were being constructedą.
A subsequent excavation by Mr. A.R. Cotton FSA also revealed other Saxon items˛.
They were found lying displaced and scattered in the river silt or flood deposit beneath the topsoil, and it is still uncertain whether they were grave goods from disturbed burials, or had arrived there with re-deposited soil at a later and more recent dateł.
The sword and spearheads had originally been mounted for display in a wooden case and were in a very bad condition, some conservation had been done in the past, but if anything this had made things worse. Upon recommendation from Surrey Museums Consultative Committee (who also funded the work), Mr. George Monger of Conservation and Museum Services undertook the conservation in August 2001. He discovered what seemed to be traces of a scabbard, possibly leather, on the sword. It had also been decorated with metal studs.The sword, spearheads and other Saxon finds from Watersmeet are on display in the Museum.
THE SWORD UNDERGOING CONSERVATION
Traces of the scabbard were found at the tip of the sword and at the corners of the hilt.
TWO OF THE SPEARHEADS DURING CONSERVATION.
1 Procs LDLHS Vol. 2 No. 3 pp.69-72.
2 Antiquaries Journal Vol. XIII pp.48-51.
3 Procs LDLHS Vol. 3 No. 2 pp. 45-48.