An Early Medieval Pulley?

Bamburgh Research Project's Blog


A large but rather puzzling piece of ironwork has emerged from Trench 3 at Bamburgh Castle over the weekend. Hopefully you will be able to see from the photos that its a substantial iron strap curved back on itself through 180 degrees, with an iron pin passing through it. There is a gap between the straps of 20mm and the metal itself is over 6mm thick, where its curved, tapering down to near 3mm closer to the tips. It seems far too heavy to represent a piece of personal adornment, like a sword hanger, so its more likely to be a tool or fastening.


The best interpretation we have so far, suggested by Simon in our finds team, is that it is part of a pulley for lifting. If this is correct then a wooden wheel would have been present between the iron strips rotating around a pin that may…

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Author: M J Porter, author

I'm a writer of historical fiction (Early England/Viking and the British Isles as a whole before 1066, as well as two 20th century mysteries).

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