Page:VCH Warwickshire 1.djvu/311

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ANGLO-SAXON REMAINS digging gravel at the summit of the hill. Lack of supervision reduced the archaeological value of the discovery, and the statements of the labourers cannot be implicitly accepted. The ordinary shield-boss, knife and spearheads were found ; but the brooches, 1 as usual, form the most inter- esting portion of the find. All the objects enumerated, however, may well have belonged to one or two interments, and do not in themselves prove the existence of a cemetery. Of the three bronze brooches figured in the original account, 2 one is of peculiar type. It is circular, in the form of a dish, having in the centre a flat-headed stud that projects about inch, while the edge of the slightly concave face is turned up at a decided angle all round. The ornament, which has been altogether lost, seems to have come away all in one piece, and may have consisted of enamel, mosaic glass, or garnet cell- work. It is quite distinct from the common saucer brooch and the type with embossed plate applied to the face ; and most resembles a specimen found in a barrow at Driffield, E. R. Yorks, and preserved in York Museum, though this was smaller and had no stud in the centre. The second is of a more common form (fig. 3), a flat disc with a swastika in open work. This is generally regarded as the sign of the god Thor, and the three brooches of this kind, like several found in Cambridgeshire, 3 had no doubt been worn by adherents of the old faith. The principal brooch (fig. 5) belongs to the ordinary square-headed type, but is more richly ornamented than usual, and when gilt must have been a striking addition to the costume. The chased portions present the tangled succession of detached limbs of a quadruped so often seen on ornaments of this period, but the attempt to represent the human features in relief is unusual and in this case fairly successful. The elaborate and well-executed decoration marks out this specimen as of fairly early date ; but comparison with a very similar but still finer example 4 found in Denmark, and attributed to the end of the sixth cen- tury, 6 would justify us in assigning the brooch, and no doubt also the Offchurch burial, to the middle of the succeeding century. There were in addition two cruciform brooches of ordinary patterns, and a few beads of amber and glass paste. Mention is also made of a small buckle of silvered bronze and a girdle-tag of the same metal ; but more important, as showing the currency of the period, are a number of minimi or ' third brass ' coins of the Constantine period. The evidence, however, is vitiated by the suspicion that these were mixed up with others found near the Fosse Way on an earlier occasion ; and, in any case, coins of 1 These have been kindly lent by the Dowager Countess of Aylesford, and two selected for illustration.

  • Journal of British Arcbteokgjcal Association, xxxii. 466. As one brooch is only given in section

and no scale is indicated, the illustrations are somewhat misleading. 8 Examples from Malton (British Museum), Linton Heath (Neville, Saxon Obsequies, pi. iii.) and Barrington (Collectanea Antiyua, vi. pi. xxxiii.) ; also Islip, Northants (Society of Antiquaries, Proceedings, ix. 90). 4 Figured in Sophus Mailer's NorJische Alterthumskunde, ii. zio. 5 By Sven Saderberg, who also figures the Danish brooch, in Anttquarisk Tidskrift /Sr Sverige, voL xi. pt. 5, p. 28, and PrShistorische Blatter (1894), pi. xii. i 257 33