Detectorist found rare sword and axe head in Stalbridge after getting lost

A BRONZE age axe head and sword found in Dorset field is set to go on display in the county after it was bought by a museum.

The items were among a find by amateur detectorist, 60-year-old John Belgrave, in Stalbridge during a meet in 2020, after he said he became separated from the group.

Dorset Museum and Art Gallery has since raised £17,000 to buy the horde – which included a decorative arm bangle as well as the axe and sword.

A museum spokesperson said: “The rapier is very unusual indeed. Not only was it apparently deliberately broken in three pieces and buried, but the hilt is shaped to mimic a wooden handle.

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“Only two remotely similar (and incomplete) examples could be identified in Britain.

“It does however have some similarities with the solid-cast hilts of Nordic rapiers from Scandinavia.

“What’s it doing in Dorset in the 13th century BCE? Again, this hoard has huge potential for display, but also future research which will enable us to continue to flesh out the story of our Dorset forebears.”

The museum is hoping, if funds can be secured, to put the items on display and ensure they are preserved for future generations.

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I am the editor in chief of Blackmore Vale media, which includes the New Blackmore Vale, New Stour & Avon, Salisbury & Avon Gazette and the Purbeck Gazette, having been a reporter for some 20 years. In my spare time, I am a festival lover, with a particular focus on Glastonbury. I live in Somerset with my wife and two children.