Fairford History Society

Monthly Archives: March 2009

February 19th 2009: from Claydon Pike and Thornhill Farm

The Corinium Museum Collection: a

Vine leaf oil lamp

Vine leaf oil lamp

talk by Emma Stuart, Outreach Officer of the Corinium Museum

At the February meeting Emma Stuart, Outreach Officer of the Corinium Museum, gave an illustrated talk on the artefacts found at the Thornhill Farm and Claydon Pike archaeological digs in the 1980s. Most of the finds shown were made of copper alloy, Emma explained that metal artefacts were the first ones to be stabilised and conserved and there were still 123 boxes of pottery and shards from the digs awaiting attention at the Museum’s Reserve Collection at Northleach. Although the finds from Thornhill Farm appear to have been of lesser quality it was because they had been less well conserved.

Thornhill Farm predated – Middle Iron Age to Early Roman – but was also concurrent with Claydon Pike, both settlements seemed to have been worked as cattle ranches. The Farm items displayed ranged from tiny silver Dobunnic coins (the Dobunni were one of the few Iron Age people to use coins) to hair pins and brooches.

The items from Claydon Pike – Late Iron Age to 5th Century ranged from brooches, rings, coins, belt fastenings, and a Roman key and votive offering showing that there must have been a shrine there. Some of the jewellery was beautifully enamelled. There was some interesting jet jewellery which only comes from the north of England showing that there must have been travel and trade across the country.

The different types of tile classified also gave an overall impression of what the buildings may have looked like.

Emma also bought some items from the collection which fascinated members, including a tiny silver coin and a knife or shears.

Taken with Butler’s Field and the recently excavated Horcott Quarry site it is possible to build up a picture of what life like may have been like in this area from the Iron Age to Anglo Saxon era. Each excavation gives more valuable information to the archaeologists.

Roman coin depicting Emperor Valentinian (364-375AD)- Claydon Pike

Roman coin depicting Emperor Valentinian (364-375AD)- Claydon Pike