Category Archives: Bronze Hoards

VM_ 365 Day 311 Roman millstone from a pit at Minnis Bay.

VM 311
After P.H.G Powell-Cotton and G. F. Pinfold, 1939.

Today’s image for Day 311 of the VM_365 project shows a large Roman Millstone found on the foreshore at Minnis Bay in 1938 by a 14 year old schoolboy named James Beck. The picture of the millstone was taken at the Powell-Cotton Museum where the millstone now resides.

James Beck identified and excavated a group of eight pits of Roman date assisted by Antoinette Powell-Cotton. The millstone, measuring nearly a metre in diameter and almost 12 centimetres thick, was found covering one of the pits, an irregular shaped cut which measured about 73 centimetres deep. A fragment of millstone of a similar date found at Broadstairs previously featured on Day 59 of the VM_365 project. Below the millstone, the pit also contained a fine red ware vessel, two fragments of samian pottery, horses teeth and fragments of wood.

James Beck also identified a Bronze Age site in the same area as the group of Roman pits and excavated and recorded a Bronze Age hoard that was previously featured on Day 202 of the VM_365 project.


VM_365 Day 222 All at sea – St Mildred’s Bay Bronze Hoard

VM 222

The image for Day 222 of the VM_365 project shows all of the the hoard  of ten Early Bronze Age palstave axes that was found in 1988 on the wave cut shelf on the foreshore at St Mildred’s Bay.

The unusual pattern of corrosion on the surface of the axes is due to the sea-waterlogged deposit the bronzes were found in. A detailed image of one axe from this group (second from the right of the top row) was previously featured on Day 219.

The bronze hoard was excavated by Dr Dave Perkins, the first Director of the Trust for Thanet Archaeology, during an extensive survey of archaeological features that were revealed in 1988 after a storm had scoured the covering of sand from the chalk of the wave cut shelf.

Several truncated features were excavated and recorded,including pits ditches and a small remannat of preserved Brickearth geology. The archaeological survey preserved a small sample of the prehistoric settlement in the landscape that had been destroyed by the encroaching sea.


VM_365 Day 220 The Ebbsfleet I Late Bronze Age hoard


The Ebbsfleet I Hoard after Jessup
The Ebbsfleet I Hoard after R. Jessup

Today’s  image for Day 220 of the VM_365 project shows another of the Bronze Age hoards from Thanet, consisting of 181 pieces, weighing approximately 27.21 kg (60lbs).

A description of the Hoard was  given by George Payne in Archaeologia Cantiana after it was passed to him by Mr W.H. Hills of Ramsgate. The hoard was found on a farm at Ebbsfleet near Minster sometime before 1895.

The objects include socketed axes, spear-heads, parts of swords and axes, belt fasteners or ‘bugle’ fittings, portions of a dagger, a knife, and a quantity of ingots.

George Payne suggested that ‘These objects formed the stock in trade of a bronze founder, who went about from one settlement to another casting implements on the spot and taking old worn and broken ones as payment for new’.

This interpretation persisted in the classification of hoards like this containing a mix of complete and broken objects as well as ingots of bronze as a Founders Hoard.

Several of these Founders Hoards have been found on Thanet, some previously featured in VM_365 including nr. Manston (Day 194, Day 196 and Day 197), The Beck Hoard and Birchington III hoard.


Payne, G. 1895, Researches and discoveries in Kent. Archaeologia Cantiana 21, xlvii-lvi