Lead weight in the shape of a shield
Medieval, late 12th to mid- 14th century
Found at St John's Street, Winchester by Winchester Museums Service Archaeology section in the mid- to late 1970s
This weight is three quarters of a pound avoirdupois, and bears a scored line crossed by three strokes (3 x one quarter of a pound) as a tally mark. It also has the royal arms, the three lions of England, showing that this was a weight that had been regulated to a standard set by the crown. The three lions passant gardant, with the the three pellets at the base are of the period 1195-1340.
Weights of this size are believed to have been used to measure out valuable imported goods such as spices. Another weight, of five and a half pounds was discovered in the same trench at St John's Street, suggesting that this was an important site for commercial activity in the medieval period. A medieval barrel-vaulted undercroft, in which such goods might have been stored survived there until the early 1980s, when it had to be collapsed for safety reasons.