Weapons of mass distraction: slight return

This week I was back at the Tower continuing work on the archive of the 1986 Royal Armouries foreshore dig. Yay 😀

I’m really pleased that we’re able to carry on with this project, as it was originally set up as a pilot, just to see how it would go. We’re hoping to complete the recording and upgrading of the archiving standards for the entire archive by about Easter, working just a half day per week.

First out of the box…


Not only the neck of the bottle, but also the cork bung 😀

Today we had a good collection of gun parts. Here are three:

P1040350  P1040337 P1040339

These are (top left) a bayonet chape end, (top right) a main spring, and (bottom left) two ramrod retaining springs.





A couple of particularly interesting finds also emerged. First, this section of a button mould. You can see where the molten metal would have formed the shank at the back of the button (which is where the button would be sewn onto the garment). This looks like it would have been a three-piece mould, with another section like this to form the other half of the back of the button, and a (patterned?) plate on top to form the front of the button. The molten metal would have been poured into the mould through the shaft next to the  shank.


And, the star find from Alan, a piece of a pilgrim badge.


Now I’ve been trying to do a bit of quick internet sleuthing to see what this piece would have looked like in its complete state. I peered at it. I squinted up my eyes trying for force my brain into understanding what I was looking at. I wasn’t even sure which way up it went. There are two pilgrim badges listed in the excavation report as having come from the appropriate context; a Christ in passion badge and a St. Thomas Becket pilgrim badge. Hmmmmm.

I was finally rescued by the Museum of London’s online database.

Christ passion- *

* http://collections.museumoflondon.org.uk/Online/object.aspx?objectID=object-29129&start=18&rows=1#

So it’s a pilgrim badge showing Christ in Passion. The design is probably based on the Rood of Grace in Boxley Abbey, a popular stopping-off point for pilgrims on their way to the shrine of St. Thomas Becket in Canterbury.

And so that’s all for now. This was our last week in the Cowshed. Next week we’ll be in a new home in the Library.


One thought on “Weapons of mass distraction: slight return

  1. Pingback: Weapons of mass distraction: slag and frags | moose and hobbes

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