Spinning and whirling
This item is a spindle-whorl. It was found during an archaeological excavation on a development site off Rectory Grove, Clapham in 1981.
What was it for?
The spindle-whorl is made of clay. It was used for spinning wool or flax. A short rod is attached to the flywheel or whorl. You spin thread or yarn by attaching fibres to the end of the rod and then spinning them, using the whorl as a weight.
When was it used?
Like many things preserved from the past, the whorl was found in a rubbish pit. It was found alongside fragments of pottery made of similar clay and animal bones. The pottery had been fired in a simple bonfire kiln. It seems to be from the early Saxon period, probably around ad 550. This is evidence for an early Saxon settlement in the area.
Museum number LAM448/80  <95>