MHG7950 - BA Rapier/Spear, Pool Crofts


No summary available.

Type and Period (1)

  • FINDSPOT (Bronze Age - 2400 BC to 551 BC)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Middle Bronze Age spearhead (Type E), 14" long, was found in May 1879, at depth of 3' in a moss, near a croft on S side of River Ewe, at point opposite find-spot of Bronze Age hoard (NG88SE5).
W Jolly 1880; J H Dixon 1886; J M Coles 1966.

Held among manuscript collections of Soc of Antiq of Scotland (under index number SAS 502.iii) two sheets of drawings by an Alexander Ross that were clearly prepared to accompany a paper by William Jolly describing material from Wester Ross, particularly the Poolewe hoard (NG88SE5), unfortunately two of illustrations never saw the light of day; one find referred to in Jolly's text as a "spearhead" is in fact a previously-unrecorded rapier. It was discovered in May 1879 "about 3 feet deep in the moss, at a point opposite site of large bronze find on N side of river (NG88SE5)".
Jolly described rapier as follows: 'It is 14 inches long, 1/8 inches broad at the base, expanding to 1.5 inch, 1 inch upwards, and gradually tapering thence to the point which is pointed and perfect. The cdouble edges are fine and sharp, and not indented in any way, showing that the weapon had been very little if at all used'.
Ross's pen and ink drawing (which more accurately describes the weapon as a "dagger or poniard") appears to bear out Jolly's observations regarding the condition of the blade. The trapezoidal butt is asymmetrical and has two deep rivet-notches. On one side at least the shoulder appears to be sharply out-turned at the tip; on some rapiers, the angle thus created may have been designed to hold supplementary rivets. Stemming from the shoulders, a broad flattened midrib appears to have run along the blade converging to a point some way from the tip. Dimensions: length 355mm; width at shoulders 48mm; thickness of blade 4mm.
Remarkably, Ross includes a profile of the blade, clearly indicating that the weapon has the flattened cross-section characteristic of Burgess and Gerloff's Group IV. The butt shape permits its tentative attribution to the Corncarrow type, although it is longer than average for this type.
Info from Mr B O'Connor and Mr T Cowie, 10 January 1995.

Sources/Archives (4)



Grid reference Centred NG 8579 8020 (4m by 4m) (2 map features)
Map sheet NG88SE
Geographical Area ROSS AND CROMARTY
Civil Parish GAIRLOCH

Finds (1)

  • RAPIER (Undated)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (1)

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.