Brooches for men and women
Workmen digging in Oakland Park, Hanwell, in 1886 discovered these three rare 'saucer' brooches. They are made from copper alloy and covered in gold. They date from the 6th century ad.
Who wore them?
The workmen uncovered seven graves on the site. The brooches were found still pinned to the remains of clothing on the bones of the skeletons. Experts at the time thought the graves contained men who had been buried wearing military cloaks. However, recent archaeological excavations show Saxon women are more often buried with pairs of saucer brooches. They wore one on each shoulder to fasten the tops of their dresses.
Saxons living in Hanwell
There may have been a Saxon settlement at nearby Boston Road in Hanwell. Pieces of Saxon pottery and possible lead loom weights were found there in the early 20th century. Perhaps the people buried in the cemetery lived on this site.
Museum number 49.107/967-9