Record Details

NHER Number:16398
Type of record:Find Spot
Name:Late Bronze Age hoard, Prehistoric worked flint and pot, and medieval sword chape


Metal detecting in Costessey during 1980 discovered a dispersed hoard of Late Bronze Age copper alloy objects. The artefacts comprised three complete socketed axes along with fragments of two more, a knife, an ingot and a piece of scrap metal. Subsequent metal detecting on the site in 1988 and 1989 recovered a sixth socketed axe, a prehistoric flint scraper, a piece of prehistoric pottery and a medieval sword chape. More recently, a program of archaeological evaluation and excavation in 2003 and 2005 recovered at least three additional Late Bronze Age axes and other copper alloy items which are probably part of the dispersed hoard (see NHER 39351).


  • Bronze Age axehead from a hoard at Costessey  © Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service


Grid Reference:Not displayed
Map Sheet:TG11SE

Full description

27 July 1980. Metal detecting.
A variety of copper alloy objects were found scattered over an area about 7m across, none more than 10cm deep.
The objects have been identified as three socketed axes, two socketed axe fragments, one tanged knife, one ferrule, one ingot fragment, and one tiny bronze scrap.
It has been interpreted as a dispersed Late Bronze Age hoard.
Collected under supervision of A. Gregory (NAU).
Illustration (S1) in file.
A. Gregory (NAU), 28 July 1980.

September 1988. Metal detecting.
A plain socketed axe and a rim fragment of a socketed axe were recovered about 70m south of this (the hoard?). See drawings (S6)-(S9).
A possible Prehistoric gritty pottery sherd was found 70m west and a flint scraper was recovered from the same area.
W. Milligan (NCM), 30 September 1988. Updated H. Hamilton (NLA), 02 September 2008.

1989. Metal-detecting.
A further bronze item was recovered from the southern edge of the hoard scatter (Context 2).
It has been identified as a bronze bag shaped sword chape decorated with zones of transverse lines, possibly of medieval date.
See Polaroid (S2).
Identified by S. Margeson (NCM), June 1989.
W. Milligan (NCM), 31 May 1989. Updated H. Hamilton (NLA), 02 September 2008.

June 2003. Systematic Fieldwalking and Metal-detecting Survey.
An additional Late Bronze Age copper alloy axehead and several undiagnostic bronze fragments were recovered from the vicinity of the hoard during fieldwalking and metal detecting in the southern portion of a wider development area encompassing NHER 37646 and NHER 39351.
See report (S3) and NHER 39351 for further details.
H. Hamilton (NLA), 03 September 2008.

October-November 2005. Excavation.
Area 2.
Additional metal detecting in the vicinity of the hoard recovered five copper alloy objects, three within the spoil from topsoil stripping and two during excavation. These were identified as two axe heads, a fragment of an axe, a scabbard chape, and a small piece of slag. One of the axes appears to be a failed casting while the other is small and very worn, and the scabbard chape is also damaged. It has been suggested that they may have formed a founder's hoard of scrap metal to be collected for reuse.
See published article (S5) and NHER 39351 for further details.
H. Hamilton (NLA), 08 September 2008.

Monument Types

  • FINDSPOT (Prehistoric - 1000000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FINDSPOT (Late Bronze Age - 1000 BC to 701 BC)
  • FINDSPOT (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Associated Finds

  • SCRAPER (TOOL) (Lower Palaeolithic to Late Iron Age - 500000 BC to 42 AD)
  • POT (Late Prehistoric - 4000 BC to 42 AD)
  • FERRULE (Late Bronze Age - 1000 BC to 701 BC)
  • HOARD (Late Bronze Age - 1000 BC to 701 BC)
  • INGOT (Late Bronze Age - 1000 BC to 701 BC)
  • KNIFE (Late Bronze Age - 1000 BC to 701 BC)
  • METAL WORKING DEBRIS (Late Bronze Age - 1000 BC to 701 BC)
  • SOCKETED AXEHEAD (Late Bronze Age - 1000 BC to 701 BC)
  • SCABBARD (Medieval - 1066 AD to 1539 AD)

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Record Card: NAU Staff. 1974-1988. Norfolk Archaeological Index Primary Record Card.
---Secondary File: Secondary File.
---Slide: Various. Slide.
<S1>Illustration: Unknown. Unknown. Drawing of objects from a Late Bronze Age hoard, Costessey.. Paper. Unknown.
<S2>Photograph: NCC Find Identification and Recording Service. c. 1975-2000. HES Find Polaroid Collection. HES Find Polaroid Collection. polaroid. black and white.
<S3>Unpublished Contractor Report: Beadsmoore, E., Cooper, A. and Hall, A. 2003. Lodge Farm, Costessey. Archaeological Evaluation by Field Survey (Phase 2). Cambridge Archaeological Unit. 559.
<S4>Unpublished Contractor Report: Doyle, K. and McConnell, D. 2005. Lodge Farm, Costessey, Norfolk. Archaeological Excavation. An Interim Report. Archaeological Solutions. 1834.
<S5>Article in Serial: Woolhouse, T., Crummy, N., Percival, S. & Tingle, M. 2008. A Late Bronze Age Hoard and Early Iron Age Boundary at Lodge Farm, Costessey. Norfolk Archaeology. Vol XLV Pt III pp 370-389.
<S6>Illustration: Gregory, A.. 1982. Drawing of Bronze Age copper alloy waste.. Paper. 1:1.
<S7>Illustration: Gregory, A. 1982. Drawing of a Bronze Age copper alloy casting set.. Paper. Unknown.
<S8>Illustration: Gregory, A. 1982. Drawing of a Bronze Age socketed axe.. Paper. 1:1.
<S9>Illustration: Gregory, A. 1982. Drawing of a Bronze Age socketed axe fragment.. Paper. 1:1.

Related records

39351Related to: Prehistoric lithic working site, post medieval finds scatter, and undated features (Monument)

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