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Guilton Grave VII

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posted on 2021-11-10, 15:12 authored by Helena HamerowHelena Hamerow
Iron umbo of a shield, found at a sand-pit near Ash in Kent [note omitted], anno 1771. I received it from my much esteemed friend, Mr. Jacob, of Faversham, with other tumuli relicks from the same place. I believe it was not deterred with an eye to its position in the grave, but was accidentally thrown up by labourers in digging of sand in the pit, which had served the said purpose several years; in the course of which, innumerable remains of sepulchral relics were discovered; many of them have been preserved by the activity of two or three neighbouring gentlemen[†]; but I lament that the far greater part, especially those of any value, and by which curious information might have been collected, such as coins and silver, and ornaments of dress of the same material, have been conveyed to the melting pot.[...] [The spearhead] found in the same pit at Ash, and at the same period as the umbo, and might possibly have been the companion to the umbo in the same grave.[†] William Boys, Esq; of Sandwich; a gentleman fond of these pursuits, and whose politeness very much contributed to my barrow researches in that neighbourhood, with the liberal spirit of a sensible Antiquary, collected assiduously many rare relics from Ash, which would otherwise have been carried to the silver-smith‚Äôs furnace, and others of less value dispersed. It is from him I was favoured with the drawing of the spear, and a correct account of some other remains from that burial place, and others in the neighbourhood, which will appear in a future passage of this work.


Grave title


Date excavated



Douglas 1793

Page number


Modern description

The shield boss and the spearhead published by Douglas (1793, 26f. Pl. 7.1, 3) under 'Tumulus VII' were both found in the sandpit at Gilton and acquired by Jacob of Faversham in 1773, but their association is by no means certain. It is certain, however, that the sandpit at Ash described by Douglas is the Gilton site because Douglas mentions Faussett‚Äôs involvement in the site (ibid. 26 n. †). Douglas seems to have used the term ‚Äòtumulus‚Äô for 'grave' rather than 'barrow', assuming that originally graves were always covered by barrows.

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