Page:VCH Warwickshire 1.djvu/318

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

A HISTORY OF WARWICKSHIRE the territorial divisions which were imposed by natural features and recognized by the Teutonic invaders and settlers of south Britain during the post-Roman period ; and in the present case enable us to connect the Warwickshire Avon with the upper valley of the Thames. West of the Severn, history and archaeology alike point to the continued predominance of the native element ; but, as already mentioned, geographical con- siderations at that early date rendered tribal intercourse in this region almost impracticable. While therefore there is nothing surprising in the absence of early Anglo-Saxon remains on the right bank of the Severn or in its valley above the Avon, every discovery in the south- east of Warwickshire, of Worcestershire and of Gloucestershire adds weight to the theory that here and in Oxfordshire was centred a tribe or group of tribes whose funeral customs and personal ornaments mark them off as a separate people. It is to this district that the saucer-brooches are practically con- fined, and of the common type, all in one piece with incised ornament and gilt face, specimens were found at Longbridge. One pair had a geometrical design in the form of a star, and on a couple more was a band of spirals (fig. i), recalling the wedge-like engraving (the German Keilschnitt) that is often met with on late Roman ornaments 1 (450-550). As uncommon varieties of the saucer-brooch, may be mentioned two specimens found with the largest of the three buckets already described. They too were made out of the solid and gilt ; but while the others had geometrical designs incised, these had a ring of the usual dislocated quadrupeds surrounding a small piece of garnet, or glass intended to resemble that stone so popular at the time (fig. 2). Once more a parallel may be found in the neighbouring county of Northampton, for a similar specimen from Kettering is preserved in the Northampton Museum. Further excavation produced a glass drinking cup, a part of which in the British Museum shows it to have been similar in shape to one found at Kempston, Beds, in 1863 ; also a cinerary urn of more than usual size and with impressed ornament in chevrons on the shoulder, now restored and preserved in the same collection. But in point of magnificence the last grave opened at Longbridge was the most important of all. Instead of the usual relics of a warrior, were recovered the costly ornaments of a lady of distinction. Of her skeleton nothing remained but a few teeth scattered in the ground, but she had worn a cruciform brooch which in size * perhaps surpasses any yet found in this country, but in workmanship is far inferior to others of the same type, as for example one from Ragley Park presently to be noticed. The deceased had also a silver bracelet formed of one strip of metal originally 1 5 inches long, and bent so as to form a double hoop, expanding on one side to a width of 1 1 inches, with six flutings. This 1 A. Riegl, Die SpStfSmische Kurt it-indiu trie in Osterreich-Ungarn, plates xvii.-jcrii.

  • It is 7$ inches in length ; one found in North Trondhjem, Norway, and figured in Rygh's

Ninke Oldiager, No. 259A, measures over 9 inches. 262