Benty Grange Helmet
The Benty Grange helmet is an archaeological artefact excavated by Thomas Bateman on 3 May 1848 from an Anglo-Saxon tumulus (or barrow) at the Benty Grange Farm in the civil parish of Monyash in the English county of Derbyshire.
The remains and a reconstruction are in Sheffield's Weston Park Museum.
This helmet is of the Spangenhelm type and like the Pioneer helmet is boar-crested. The surviving iron bands would have supported plates of horn (decayed in antiquity) held in place with small silver rivets and the nasal of the helmet is decorated with a silver cross.
The helmet was discovered on 3 May 1848 during an excavation by Thomas Bateman on the Benty Grange farm in Derbyshire, in what is now the Peak District National Park. The subject of the excavation, a barrow, was "perhaps not more than two feet at the highest point," but "spread over a pretty large area," and "surrounded by a small fosse or trench." At its center lay a body, flat against the original surface of the soil, of which little remained; what was thought to be the one remnant, strands of hair, is now thought to be from a cloak of "fur, cowhide or similar material". In the area of the "hair" was found "a curious assemblage of ornaments," which were difficult to successfully remove from the hardened earth. This included a cup of leather or wood, approximately three inches in diameter at the mouth. It's rim was edged with silver, while its surface was "decorated by four wheel-shaped ornaments and two crosses of thin silver, affixed by pins of the same metal, clenched inside." Also found were "two circular enamels upon copper 1 3/4 diameter, in narrow silver frames, and a third, which was so far decomposed as to be irrecoverable", as well as "a knot of very fine wire," and some "thin bone variously ornamented with lozenges &c." attached to silk, but which soon decayed when exposed to air.
This helm is crested with an iron boar with bronze eyes inset with garnet, this sits upon an elliptical copper-alloy plate. The hips of the boar are made with pear shaped plates of gilded silver. The 1986 reconstruction, based on conservation work carried out at the British Museum has boar bristles running along the back.
- Bateman, Thomas (1849). "Description of the Contents of a Saxon Barrow". The Journal of the British Archaeological Association. IV: 276–279. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
- Bateman, Thomas (1861). Ten Years' Digging in Celtic and Saxon Grave Hills, in the counties of Derby, Stafford, and York, from 1848 to 1858; with notices of some former discoveries, hitherto unpublished, and remarks on the crania and pottery from the mounds. London: John Russell Smith. pp. 28–33. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
- Bruce-Mitford, Rupert (1974). Aspects of Anglo-Saxon Archaeology: Sutton Hoo and Other Discoveries. London: Victor Gollancz. ISBN 0-575-01704-X.
- "Helmet from Benty Grange". I Dig Sheffield. Museums Sheffield. Retrieved 19 February 2017.
- Lester, Geoff (Fall 1987). "The Anglo-Saxon Helmet from Benty Grange, Derbyshire" (PDF). Old English newsletter. 21 (1): 34–35. ISSN 0030-1973.
- Smith, Charles Roach (1852). "Anglo-Saxon and Frankish Remains". Collectanea Antiqua. II: 203–248. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
- Way, Albert (1855). "Notice of a Bronze Relique, Assigned to the Later Roman or the Saxon Age, Discovered at Leckhampton, Gloucestershire". The Archaeological Journal. The Archaeological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. XII: 7–21.