Poorly Located Monument record FSG 030 - Battle of Fornham (Med)

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Summary

Battle of Fornham (between rebel Early of Leicester and Robert de Lucy (for King Henry II)), 1173. Previousley FSG Misc.

Location

Grid reference TL 84 68 (point) (Approximate)
Map sheet TL86NW
Civil Parish FORNHAM ST GENEVIEVE, ST EDMUNDSBURY, SUFFOLK
Civil Parish FORNHAM ST MARTIN, ST EDMUNDSBURY, SUFFOLK

Map

Type and Period (1)

Full Description

Battle of Fornham (between rebel Early of Leicester and Robert de Lucy (for King Henry II)), 1173. According to (S6) Henry II forces led by Richard de Lucie and battle at Fornham, Suffolk. Account by Barker (S1) suggests battle commenced in Fornham St Martin and concluded near Fornham St Genevieve Church (FSG 002) where, in 1826, `not less than forty skeletons were discovered' in a heap, piled in order, tier above tier, with faces upward and feet towards centre. Suggested individuals killed in battle - several bore sword clefts or arrow pierce marks (S1).
Various stray finds may be evidence of battle:-Gold ring with ruby from River Lark - see FSG Misc Med; gold ring with garnet (Rom but possibly re- used?) from field beside River Lark - see FSM 004; iron arrowhead dug up in garden at FSG - see FSG Misc Med; C12 spearhead, `found in 1873, near the same spot' (as the sword, see below)(S1)(S5) (also spearhead & knives - see R4?); dagger, also from `battle site' (S5)(R3); gold chain, found `about 30 years ago, (circa 1877) near where the sword was found and during the same digging operations, a workman found a piece of chain about 10 inches in length'. Apparently given to children and only about 2 inches recovered, `which he took to Bury and sold for several pounds, as it was found to be of gold' (S1); C12 iron disc pommel, type 5 (R1); sword with inlaid silver inscription: 1.1 NOMINE DOM... (INE) and +SES BENEDICTVS (S2)(S3). Several accounts relate to this sword. Trigg (R2) states found few years ago cleaning out ditch near water mill, 1876, Fornham St Martin. 1890 exhibited by Sir William Gilstrap, `sword discovered when draining land near the River Lark... bears the inscription "Homine Domine" in characters of gold' (S4). 1966 loaned to BSEMH by Mr John Macrae. 1970: Edwardson states `found 1933' in mud at bottom of ditch in Fornham Park, 3 feet 5 inches long, blade broken (but complete) 11 inches from tip. Find date probably presumed - note loaned to BSEMH in 1933 by Sir G Manners.
Formerly also recorded under FSM Misc (CRN 06694 - now deleted). For human skulls from bank of River Lark - see Hengrave 001.
1999: Battle site being studied for inclusion in English Heritage Register of Historic Battle Sites (S7).

Sources/Archives (12)

  • <R1> (No record type): London Museum Med catalogue, 1967, 25.
  • <M1> Unpublished document: Basil Brown. Basil Brown Archive. Basil Brown archive: volumes.
  • <S1> Bibliographic reference: Barker, H. R.. 1907. West Suffolk Illustrated. 144-145.
  • <R2> (No record type): Trigg H, JBAA, 32, 1876.
  • <S2> Bibliographic reference: Suffolk Institute of Archaeology. Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology. PSIA, 32, 1970, (1), 87, fig 23.
  • <R3> (No record type): BSEMH, 1903 catalogue, IV, 209.
  • <S3> Unpublished document: Basil Brown. Basil Brown Archive. Brown B, XXI, 3; XCVIII, 70, 93, 97 (cuttings EADT 8.12.51 - photo) and Evening Star 8.12.51 - photo.
  • <S4> Bibliographic reference: Suffolk Institute of Archaeology. Proceedings of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology. PSIA, 7, 1890, (2), 214.
  • <R4> Bibliographic reference: Journal of the British Archaeological Association. JBAA, 33.
  • <S5> (No record type): BSEMH, card 1978.441 & 439.
  • <S6> (No record type): Archaeologia, 1, 1804, 49-50.
  • <S7> Unpublished document: Battlefields Trust. Rayner M, Battlefields Trust, July 1999.

Finds (3)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (0)

Record last edited

May 21 2020 8:47AM

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