Iron shield boss
Medieval, 13th-15th century AD
Found during excavations by Winchester Museums Service Archaeology Section at Victoria Road, Winchester in the mid- to late 1970s
This is the iron boss from a buckler, a type of small shield. The organic materials that formed the main body of the buckler have long since decayed, but traces preserved by iron corrosion suggest that it was made of wood, covered with leather. The iron boss was also plated with tin.
Although shields and other weapons are fairly common finds in Anglo-Saxon graves, this is an unusual discovery for a medieval house, the context from which the Victoria Road object came. History suggests that some of the inhabitants of the house were relatively wealthy. For example William le Hornere, innkeeper, brewer, tapster and citizen was granted the tenement in 1362 and held other property both in the suburbs and within the walled town. So perhaps the find reflects a need for security and protection on the site in medieval times.
Photo by John Crook.