Late Bronze Age socketed axe, dating from around 800 BC, discovered at Beaufort near Ebbw Vale in 1922

Posted on by emyr

A Late Bronze Age socketed axe, dating from around 800 BC, which was originally part of a hoard discovered at Beaufort near Ebbw Vale in 1922 has just been donated to Ebbw Vale Works Museum.

The socketed axe had been in the possession of the donor’s family for generations and may have been one of many pieces from the original hoard still in private hands, but now thankfully this piece is now in the care of the local, accredited museum where it can be preserved for posterity and be seen and enjoyed by visitors to the museum.

At least two axes from the original hoard were donated to what is now the National Museum of Wales around the time of discovery and have since been featured in guidebooks to the town of Ebbw Vale published by the local urban district council for many years.

There is only anecdotal evidence, local legend at best, about the original size of the hoard, which is believed to have been found underneath a large flat stone in Beaufort; some have speculated that there were as many as 13 pieces in the original hoard. There was nothing illegal in the actions of the finders in 1922 – as the finds were not of gold or silver, they were not considered ‘treasure trove’ and therefore the landowners and finders were free to act as they wished. Since 1996 the law has changed covering finds of portable antiquities and there is a code of practice that can be viewed at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/treasure-act-1996-code-of-practice-2nd-revision-england-and-wales

The recently donated socketed axe has yet to be recorded and documented but it is hoped that it will be on display at the Ebbw Vale Works Museum in the near future – we’ll let you know when this happens in case of any disappointment.

In the meantime, I’ve uploaded a colour photo of the late Bronze Age socketed axe, which dates from around 800 BC, together with a black and white photo of the 2 previously documented axes from the hoard for you to all see.

Late Bronze Age socketed axe, dating from around 800 BC, which was originally part of a hoard discovered at Beaufort near Ebbw Vale

Late Bronze Age socketed axe, dating from around 800 BC, which was originally part of a hoard discovered at Beaufort near Ebbw Vale

 

2 Late Bronze Age socketed axes, which were originally part of a hoard discovered at Beaufort near Ebbw Vale in 1922 and donated to a museum shortly thereafter

2 Late Bronze Age socketed axes, which were originally part of a hoard discovered at Beaufort near Ebbw Vale in 1922 and donated to a museum shortly thereafter


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Blaenau Gwent Access to Heritage Project

The Blaenau Gwent area has a wealth of local history and heritage.  Across the County Borough, groups of dedicated volunteers work tirelessly to preserve and enhance the history and heritage of their local communities. The Blaenau Gwent Access to Heritage Project aims to make this rich local heritage accessible to as wide a range of people as possible.  Thanks to a £250,000 funding package from the Heritage Lottery Fund, CyMAL (the museum, archives and libraries division of the Welsh Government) and Blaenau Gwent Council, the project is now up and running.
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