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Monument Name Arkesden-Highfield
SMR Number 3895
Summary A bronze age founder's hoard found at Highfield, Arkesden in 1872, during land drainage.
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Description A bronze age founder's hoard found at Highfield, Arkesden in 1872, during land drainage. Objects were apportioned by the workmen. the local plumber refused to buy on legal grounds. Some were bought by J Clarke, others by Charles Karwarding. The objects were found c2ft below the surface in a hole containing bronze implements and ashes - "it was about the shape of a pail and was surrounded by pebble stones" The author procured: 3 celts, the lower part of a bright bronze implement, part of a broad dagger-very bent, the middle portion of a stout sword with a stout rib, a spearhead, 2 pieces of honeycombed rough metal. The remainder: 13 celts, all strongly made, a spearhead with the point broken off, a celt mould, a large 'brass ring' of the "sort which antiquarians believe to have been occasionally substituted for money", unused pieces of metal of different sizes but similar in fabric "like a very coarse sponge, with no marks of a tool upon them but broken into lumps of different dimensions..". <1> According to OS card between 50-60 bronze implements including axes, spearheads, broken sword blades, dagger blades and lumps of fused metal were found in 1872 in a vase of rough earthenware. Some of the implements are now in Saffron Walden Museum. <2> Also siting of hoard is not confirmed. Possibly it has been confused with the Hatfield Broad Oak hoard which was also found in a pot (0000). Some of the hoard in Saffron Walden Museum includes:parts of bronze celts, 2 nuggets of bronze, a bronze spearhead, a bronze ribbed spearhead, part of a bronze dagger blade-2 of these (or possibly a sword?). <6> Another socketed axe-Acc No CLXIX may be from this hoard but this is not clear. <1> <3> Drawings taken from the Transactions of the Historical Society of Lancashire and Cheshire show: socketed axes, flanged axes, winged axes?, spearheads, part of a sword or dagger blade and a mould for a socketed axe. This reference is also given for the Chrishall-Elmdon hoard and so there is possible conflation of different sites. <4> There is a suggestion that Arkesden was on a routeway in the late bronze age, used by bronze-smiths who perhaps had dumps of scrap bronze at specified points. <5>
Monument Type(s) PIT (Dated 1000BC to 701BC)
Period 1000BC to 701BC Bronze Age
Status Not Known
National Grid Reference Square: TL43SE
Ref: 469344
Finds BRONZE AXE (WEAPON) (Dated 1000BC To 701BC)

BRONZE DAGGER (Dated 1000BC To 701BC)

BRONZE HOARD (Dated 1000BC To 701BC)


BRONZE MOULD (Dated 1000BC To 701BC)

BRONZE RING (Dated 1000BC To 701BC)


BRONZE SPEAR (Dated 1000BC To 701BC)

BRONZE SWORD (Dated 1000BC To 701BC)

POTTERY VESSEL (Dated 1000BC To 701BC)

Events None listed
Sources Artifact : CLXIX, CLXXI-CLXXXII (unknown) Dated : unknown

<1> RECORD SHEET/FORM : OS cards (Ordnance Survey) Dated : unknown

<2> RECORD SHEET/FORM : OS cards (Ordnance Survey) TL43SE05, 1950 Dated : unknown

<3> Desc Text : Trans Hist Soc Lancashire Cheshire (Trans Hist Soc Lancashire Cheshire) Dated : 1873

<4> Graphic material : Arkesden hoard (most of) (unknown) Dated : unknown

<5> Desc Text : Archaeology in Essex to AD1500 (Couchman, CR in Buckley, DG) Vol 34, p45 Dated : 1980