“Gold plaque with symbol of St John inlaid with niello, from the Middle Saxon site at Brandon”
“Robert Carr and Andrew Tester of Suffolk Unit have excavated extensively at the marsh-bound site at Brandon, revealing a wide range of structural evidence of a wealthy, literate, Middle Saxon settlement of either royal or monastic status. Although apparently of a different social level, this site provides an important contrast to the earlier 5th-7th century settlement of West Stow and to the urban development of Ipswich.”
“BRANDON: BRD 008. NGR TL 7486
Ae facetted tweezers of ‘5th-century date’ were found on south bank of Little Ouse – note in Wilson and Hurst (1969, 240).
(Note Grid Ref. Cited is on north side of Ouse).
Length 4.7 cm.
BRANDON: BRD 024. NGR TL 7886
Staunch Meadow. BRD 018. NGR TL 7786
Loc: Human bones in Duckworth Laboratory, Cambridge; gold plaque in British Museum; Excavation material in SAU.
Sand island beside River Ouse; no subsequent agriculture, high preservation of features and finds. 1952 – D Howlett of Norwich Castle Museum dug briefly at Staunch Meadow but no records remain.
1980-88 Excavations by SAU revealed mainly Middle Saxon occupation with few Early Anglo-Saxon objects, deserted c. AD850.
Site characterised by plank-in-post-hole and plank-in-trench structures, some within enclosure ditches. Two basic sizes: c 11x6m and 8x5m with considerable structural variations, 35 in all. There are no sunken-featured buildings. Two inhumation cemeteries; one with attendant three-part church; the second, on the edge of the excavation area but no church has, as yet, been identified. Industrial area for cloth (linen) production identified on reclaimed land along the northern edge of the site. Island connected to the mainland by a causeway. Part of the site occupied by medieval chapel and standing earthwork enclosure.
High quality metalwork including gold plaque depicting St John, 3 styli, 3 runic inscriptions, decorative silver and bronze objects; many pins including decorated disc-headed, animal-headed, facetted, knobbed and opposed spiral headed; strap-ends, tweezer, spoon/fork combination, Ae key, a fragment of the open-work base of a “Coptic” bowl, window glass, squat glass jars and 3 claw beaker fragments. Ipswich Ware, some Thetford-type ware and imported pottery including Tatin Ware. One fragment of late 6th-century cruciform brooch. Date range: 7th-9th century.
Bibliography: Carr 1988 (Interim report). Selected finds illustrated and described in Webster and Backhouse 1991, 81-88; non-runic inscriptions Okasha 1983, Cat. 159.
10.17 Lower portion Ae cruciform brooch, head-plate missing, bow with raised square, outlined with double lunate stamps. Catch-plate wit large ring-and-dot stamp with traces of enamel, outlined with double lunate stamps and large side lappets ornamented with beaked animals, animal-head foot with round, upstanding eyes; large, flat scroll nostrils bearing annular stamps. Flattened muzzle with three-lobed design and unpierced lower projection. There is a strong, upstanding central bar running from the eyebrows to the muzzle. Length of fragment 10.1 cm. Group IV, Late 6th century.
BRANDON: BRD 047. NGR TL 7786
Loc: MH 1985-123 (C) .
Sceatta Obv: 3 vertical lines with chevron below right hand one; crescentic area above filled with curving radiating lines with a dot at inner end of each. Rev: pearled square containing symbol (TTO). Said to be one of six. One other said to be ‘porcupine type’.
BRANDON: BRD 071. NGR TL 7786
Excavation (1989) revealed ditches, pits with Ipswich, Thetford and St Neots Wares. (Fig. 11)
BRANDON: BRD Misc. NGR 7886
Loc: Ash O 1992. 103.
11.1 Plain, tinned Ae equal armed brooch; triangular head and foot with concave sides, the head-plate slightly larger. Both plates outlined with semi-circular stamps. The bow is short, arched with angular sides. Single pierced lug for securing pin (missing). Length 5.4cm.
Comments: Hines Anglian form, first half of 6th century. Hines 1984, 253ff; Hattatt 1985, 214. Provenance insecure.”
Extracts from A Corpus of Anglo-Saxon Material from Suffolk by Stanley West (East Anglian Archaeology: Report No. 84, 1998)
This Roman curse plaque was found in the dredging’s from the Little Ouse river in Brandon and is now in the Moyses Hall museum, Bury St Edmunds. Roughly translated it reads “To the person slave or free, who stole my pot, may they be cursed in the name of the God Neptune”