- Museum number
Cast copper-alloy two-link horse bit. The shanks are octaganal in section and taper towards each end. Each ring carrier has a pair of lateral 'ear' mouldings that converge towards the shank. The ridge between them expands in width as they contract. Each ear is embellished with a groove close to the outer edge, and with a curving-sided triangle of red glass. Both the inner and the outer perforations of the links have very pronounced wear-facets. The diagonal pull of the side-rings within the outer perforations of the links has caused them to become kidney-shaped in profile.
- Production date
- 50 - 150 (circa)
Diameter: 76 millimetres (rings)
Length: 259 millimetres
Weight: 430 grammes
- Curator's comments
From a hoard of metal objects in a pit lined with burnt clay found by chance in ploughing a field in June 1800 near the top of the Polden Hills somewhere near Bridgewater (Harford 1803: 90-1). Harford wrote: "the hoard was ploughed up near the top of Polden Hill near Bridgewater. Polden hill is an eminence on one side of Kings Sedgemoor, a little above the village of Edington, where are evident remains of a Roman station."
According to W.A. Seaby (quoted in C. Fox 1952: 54), the hoard was probably found on Knowle Hill in Bawdrip parish; the source of Seaby's information is not cited, but it may be related to two letters sent to the British Museum (from R. Rainbird Clarke on 26th May 1938 and H.S.L. Dewar on 11th March 1949) which give this location. Mansel Spratling (quoted in Brailsford 1975, 222) has suggested that this could be a confusion arising from the fact that there is a terret from Knowle Hill in Taunton Museum. This terret is very different to the Polden Hill group, and is much more extensively mineralised. It may be safest (as Brailsford has argued) to dismiss the Bawdrip location and accept the original location: 'a little above the village of Edington'.
There are at least sixteen bridle bits from Polden Hills. All are in the British Museum, except one, which is in the collections of Bristol Museum (reg no.: F1785).
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1997 28 Mar-15 Jun, Northampton Central Museum, Through Celtic Mists: Life and Ritual in the Iron Age
- Acquisition notes
- In sale on March 23rd 1846
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number