Fornham sword on Antiques Roadshow
A 950-year-old sword that rose from a pond in a digger bucket on the site of the Battle of Fornham will be on Antiques Roadshow at 8pm tonight.
The sword was found at All Saints Hotel and golf course at Fornham St Genevieve in April 2017 by David Weakes, of Weakes Construction, and digger driver Dominic Corcoran.
At the time David said: “It was sticking out of the digger bucket with the cross handle upwards – it was weird, really.”
The pair, along with directors and staff from the hotel, took the sword to the Roadshow at Helmingham Hall where the show says it intrigued its militaria specialist Bill Harriman.
Initial examination by a conservator revealed inlaid words and pictures on the blade which may have been silver, so it had to be reported to the coroner under the Treasure Act.
But the British Museum reported the inlay is of tin and mercury so the sword was returned to the hotel who are having a cabinet made to display it in the restaurant overlooking the site of the 1173 Battle of Fornham where forces loyal to Henry II drove the rebel Earl of Leicester’s mercenaries into a marsh and killed them.
The hotel’s David Harris said: “People will be able to come and look at it. It’s that special entity of seeing it where it was found and imagining what went on there 900 years ago.”
The British Museum report says most swords of the type are dated from the 11th and 12th century and adds it was found in a boggy area by the Lark ‘where the mercenaries are likely to have been driven’.