Spotlight loan

The Witham Shield

The Collection, Lincoln

Free exhibition

13 March 2013 –
19 June 2013

Recommend this exhibition

The iconic Witham shield is one of the most beautiful Iron Age objects ever to have been discovered in Britain. Along with many other pieces of Iron Age weaponry, the shield was dredged from the River Witham near Lincoln over a century and half ago.

Like the Battersea shield, the part of the Witham shield which has been preserved is the bronze facing, which would have been mounted onto a wooden backing. These objects are very unusual, and only a handful are known. The design is a masterpiece of what we now know as Celtic art, from the time when this style was just beginning to flourish in Britain.

The partnership loan to The Collection, which forms part of the Spotlight loans programme, provides a unique opportunity to appreciate this fabulous object in its local context for the first time since its discovery in 1843. Visitors to The Collection will be able to see the shield alongside other objects from the River Witham, including finds from the Middle Iron Age causeway site Fiskerton. Recent excavations here have put earlier finds such as the Witham shield into their wider archaeological context. Bringing these objects together will give visitors a chance to unravel the connections between Iron Age art, warfare, ritual and deposition.

The Witham Shield

The Witham Shield, Iron Age, 400-300 BC
From the river Witham near Lincoln, England