Previous owner: Previously owned by
Date Made/Found: Around 650
, British, 1821 - 1861
Material and Medium: Iron, silver, copper alloy, gold and garnet
Dimensions: Height to crown 20.5cm, height to boar's back 24.5cm. Circumference 75cm
Place Object Found:
Accession Number: J93.1189
Helmet from Benty Grange Barrow, excavated by the Victorian archaeologist, Thomas Bateman, on 3 May 1848.
The helmet was the first Anglo-Saxon helmet ever found in England. Only three others have been found since, at Sutton Hoo, Suffolk, at Coppergate, York and at Wollaston, Northamptonshire. It is made of seven iron bands which form the basic framework. Four other bands provide extra support. Extensions at the front and back form the nose guard and the neck guard. This framework was covered with horn plates and strengthened by horn strips riveted to the iron bands. This is the only surviving example of a horn covered helmet from England.
The helmet is decorated with a boar on top and a cross on the nose guard. The helmet was made at a time when people's beliefs were changing from paganism to Christianity and the helmet reflects this. The boar was a Pagan symbol of fertility, strength and vigour and was often used as a protective symbol on helmets.
Weston Park Museum