As NAT members will know, as part of the Heritage Lottery funded Imagined Land project last year, people living near Burnham Norton friary came together and dug test-pits, which produced all sorts of material, from medieval pottery through to pennies from the 1980s! The most amazing find of all, though, came when a group of children were working alongside archaeologist, Giles Emery, metal-detecting areas of the school grounds. Whilst detecting, they found an extraordinary object, which we now suspect is part of a 9th century decorative buckle.
In December of last year, the buckle was cleaned by Norwich Conservation and Design Services and, last week, I was able to take the buckle back to Burnham Market primary school for all the children to see – including those that had found it. We had an excellent day. The children in the upper school worked hard finding all sorts of detailed words to describe the object, as if they were archaeologists. The children in the lower school also found words for the object, as well as having the chance to colour their own Anglo-Saxon buckle plate to take home. It was great for the young people who had found the object to have the chance to see it again, now that it is all cleaned. It’s always more exciting to see an object in real life and in 3D. The school have kindly agreed to donate this beautiful artefact to Norwich Castle museum so that it can be seen by a wider public – we’ll let you know when you can go and see it for yourself.