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Bronze Age artifacts discovered in Havering set to go on display

453 Bronze Age objects have been recovered so far (credit: Museum of London)

A giant collection of Bronze Age artifacts discovered in Havering is due to go on display for the first time. 

The hoard of axe heads, spearheads, daggers and more is the largest of its kind to be found in London and third biggest in the UK. 

More than 450 items, dating between 900 and 800 BC, were discovered in four separate and deliberately placed hoards within a large ancient enclosure ditch. 

Historians have questions why they were buried together, as most collections are found in isolation. Almost all the weapons were partially broken or damaged as well. 

It has led to speculation a specialist metal worker may have operated in the area and that the large scale deposit may represent something similar to a vault or a bank. 

Bronze Age artifacts recovered in Havering (credit: Museum of London)

Other theories suggest it may have been a religious offering or that the items were dumped in favour of emerging iron technology. 

Further conservation and analysis of the artifacts is currently underway to provide more insight into the find. 

“The setting of many hoards is often unclear, but these were deliberately placed and aligned within a late Bronze Age enclosure so that we could excavate them in their entirety,” said Andrew Peachey, Specialist in Prehistoric and Roman Pottery, at Archaeological Solutions.

“The location of the enclosure and hoards, overlooking the river Thames, made for a dramatic setting, especially as the sun rose and set, highlighting that in prehistory this would have been a special location.

Bronze Age artifact (credit: Museum of London)

“We are very grateful for the continued support of Ingrebourne Valley Ltd.”

The collection will go on display for the first time at the Museum of London Docklands in April 2020. 

Peter Stewart, Chair of the Havering Museum, said: “Havering Museum is very proud to be associated with the Museum of London and to be given the opportunity of displaying artefacts from the incredible Bronze Age Hoard following the major exhibition at the Museum of London Docklands.

“The Hoard is hugely significant in the long history of Havering and London and will prove to be a great attraction and educational resource for both museums.”


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