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6. Anglo Saxon grave goods

Complete glass beaker, gold pendant and sleeve or wrist clasp.

Very few Anglo Saxon settlements have been found; most of what we know about these people comes from finding their dead. Apart from the evidence from the human remains, another main form of evidence comes from grave goods. The Anglo-Saxons may have believed death was like a journey, and the dead were given goods to help them on their way. From grave goods we learn about how they dressed, and what tools and weapons they used. The grave goods may have defined you as a man or a woman, as rich or poor.

This complete glass beaker is a rare and beautiful survival. Don’t be fooled by the colour though, as it was originally clear glass. When glass has been buried in the soil for many years it begins to delaminate, where the layers of glass begin to separate and change colour. Only wealthier people would have used a beaker like this one, cups made from pottery, wood, horn and leather were more common. The beaker was found amongst a group of objects in a grave. It suggests the grave would have been that of a high status woman.

This gold pendant found at Horncastle has a garnet inlay and is in the shape of an insect. This pendant is unusual because the stylised “fish scale” inlay is very rare. The inlay dates to the 5th Century but the object was turned into a pendant in the 7th Century. This type of reuse is very uncommon.

Sleeve or wrist clasps were found in women’s graves. They were sewn on to sleeves that were slit at the wrist. They could be hooked together to act as a closure. These clasps were found at a Saxon cemetery site at Ruskington, and they are gilded copper alloy.

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The Russell Chantry: Lothar Götz/Duncan Grant

13 February – 29 May 2016


In 1953 Duncan Grant was commissioned to decorate Lincoln Cathedral's Russell Chantrey with a set of murals depicting St Blaise, the patron saint of wool workers. The mural unveiled in 1959 remained private for a number of years, possibly because Duncan Grant chose to put a little too much of his own life onto the walls. It was reopened for public view after restoration in 1990.


The murals were painted at a time in British art history when mural painting was far more likely to occur on secular or municipal buildings and this is one reason why Grant's chapel murals are a rarity.


The Collection is inviting Lothar Götz to produce a new mural inside a 1:1 scale reproduction of this chapel. The exhibition will include a number of Duncan Grant's preparatory studies for his murals and examples of other artworks made in response to sacred spaces and spirituality from Lothar Götz, alongside highlights from the Methodist Art Collection.




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Last updated: 22 February 2011

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