Close

Bronze Age Hoard

16 August 2016

In 2009 our Assistant Head Gardener, Darren Little came across something quite unusual when clearing away some bracken from the North Westerly slopes of the Island's garden. Darren discovered a small axe head hidden within a cavity in some rocks. Upon further inspection, a total of 48 artefacts were discovered, including blade fragments, a buckle, a chape and various ingot fragments.

The finds were sent to the Royal Albert Memorial Museum for x-rays, cleaning, and inspection. It was then verified by the British Museum that the artefacts dated from the late Bronze Age, making them around three thousand years old. Whilst we know the age of these historic items, it is unclear as to how they came to be on The Mount. It is assumed that they belonged to a Blacksmith who used the cavity as storage, to keep the hoard hidden from potential thieves.

The discovery of the Bronze Age Hoard provides a link between St Michaels Mount and the manufacture of artefacts from this period. The most significant item in the hoard is a buckle, possibly a scabbard decoration, which is thought to be unique, as no other buckle of its design has been found in Great Britain.

Part of the Bronze Age Hoard is currently undergoing essential conservation work, which is being carried out by specialists based at the Royal Cornwall Museum. The remainder of the hoard is being cared for by the National Trust and will be returned to the Mount when its new display case has been installed.