19th August 2005



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A mediaeval bronze buckle found in the garden of Chad Varah House will take pride of place in a display charting the history of the building at the University of Lincoln.


The buckle, which dates from the 11th or 12th century, is the latest find which has been discovered in the gardens of Chad Varah House, just off Steep Hill.


Conservation and restoration experts from the university have found a large number of potsherds dating back to Roman times at Chad Varah house, and they also discovered a third-century Roman coin last year.


“The remarkable thing about these finds is that they’re all just sitting on the surface in the garden,” said Chris Robinson, a senior technician in the Department of Conservation and Restoration.


As soon as Chris found the bronze buckle he took it into the laboratory to clean and conserve it. “It wasn’t badly corroded, and because it had been lying on the surface it was black because of the exposure to air pollution rather than green,” he said.


“Once I’d cleaned it up I realised how ornate it was. I showed it to Adam Daubney, the Portable Antiquities Officer at The Collection, who identified the buckle and described it as ‘a fine example of quite a rare object'.


“It’s probably quite a high status object because it’s highly ornamented. It would have been made of wax first and then cast probably as a one-off item.”


Chris now plans to update the display at Chad Varah House to include the buckle and the Roman coin from the reign of Claudius II (268 - 270 AD) which he found last year.


“We have a lot of potsherds from the Roman period right up to the Victorians which give a good indication of the history of the site,” said Chris.


Chad Varah House was built in 1777 by John Carr of York as the first County Hospital and was adopted by the Lincoln School of Art and Design in 1995.


Previous buildings on the site have included a cottage on the corner of Steep Hill and Wordsworth Street and a pub called The Fighting Cocks.


Go to picture 1            Third-century Roman coin


Go to picture 2            Mediaeval bronze buckle


For more information contact: Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

01522 886042                         jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk