This remarkable trove of artefacts was recovered from the seventh-century grave of an Anglo-Saxon woman at Winfarthing, near Diss.

The site was discovered by metal detectorists in 2014 and later excavated professionally. The most spectacular find in the group is a circular gold pendant measuring 5.8cm in diameter (pictured). The piece has been made using the cloisonné technique, in which small gold cells have been attached to a sheet of gold and each cell set with garnets. The stones have been cut into intricate shapes which form six concentric bands of exquisite decoration. These bands frame four outer bosses and a larger central boss. Such technically sophisticated items of Anglo-Saxon jewellery are extremely rare, with only a few comparable examples ever found. The quality and size of the piece suggests an owner of aristocratic or royal status. Two further pendants made from Merovingian coins, two gold beads and a gold crossshaped pendant inlaid with delicate filigree wire were also found in the grave. The crossshaped pendant suggests the woman may have been an early Anglo-Saxon Christian convert. The complete trove includes a bronze bowl, an imported pottery jar, a knife and a belt hanger of bronze rings. Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery holds an important collection of Anglo-Saxon material from across the county, including early bronze jewellery and garnet-inlaid brooches from the seventh century. The Winfarthing pendant is an object of national significance which will now help cement the museum’s position as one of the outstanding collections of Anglo-Saxon material in the UK.

Provenance

Discovered by a metal detectorist on land in Winfarthing, Norfolk. Permission from the landowner was given. The material was subsequently declared Treasure.


Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery

Castle Hill, Norwich, Norfolk, NR1 3JU
01603 493625
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  • Sunday 1-4.30pm

(1 July – 23 September 2019 open until 5pm)

  • Closed on 24, 25, 26 December and 1 January


Exhibitions at Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery

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