Medieval Inscribed English Sword, 1250-1300
This was found in Whittlesea Mere, Cambridgeshire in the 1840s. It has a talismanic inscription in latten letters on both sides: ’+N.C.R.O.X.W(?).R.E.F.-’
’+N E D A S E D N G R E D A-’
Swords have always been high status objects used as symbols of authority as well as for warfare and sport. Swords often accompanied a warrior to his grave. This style of sword derived from the broad straight swords of the Celts and Vikings, consisting of a long, two-sided blade balanced by a pronounced pommel and straight quillons (cross-bars on the hilt) to guard the hand, with a grip of wood bound with leather or cord. No trace of the grip on this sword remains, only the core steel tang reaching to the pommel.