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Warwickshire Museum, Warwick, Warwickshire

(52°16′53″N, 1°35′27″W)
Warwickshire Museum
SP 280 649
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Warwickshire
now Warwickshire
medieval Worcester
now Coventry
  • Harry Bodenham
  • Harry Sunley
  • Harry Bodenham
10 July 1991

Please use this link to cite this page - https://www.crsbi.ac.uk/view-item?i=14271.

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Feature Sets

The object described here was accidentally brought to light during a Horticultural meeting within the area of Kenilworth Castle, in 1848. (see Comments/Opinions). It is now held by the Warwickshire Museum (Inventory Number: Warwickshire Museum Archaeology Collection A197).


Loose Sculpture


Two previous references have been made: Staunton described it as being of Caen stone. It had been supposed that it may have served as a receptacle for holy water, 'for which however the small size of the bowl seems scarcely suited: it may have been intended as a small lamp or cresset, and the cavity appears to show effects of fire on its surface'. Staunton suggests it may be of a date as early as the foundation of the Castle, c.1122. It was accidently brought to light during a Horticultural meeting 'within the area of the Castle, in 1848'. Chatwin described it as being of red sandstone and appearing to be of late 13thc. or 14thc.

As a result of the CRSBI activities, this object has come to light again, Dr R. K. Morris of Warwick University commented: 'Its crudeness made useful comparisons difficult, but there was a reasonable chance that it is of the late-12thc., but the possibility of it being late medieval could not be ruled out.' Recording its use, the most likely appears to be that of a lamp, supported by the heat-markings. Whether the stone is sufficiently compact to retain the fuel is uncertain, but it could have been contained in an inner vessel of clay or metal. Unfortunately little is known of the details of its provenance.


P. Chatwin, 'Recent Finds in Coventry', Birmingham Archaeological Society Transactions LVIII, (1934), 59.

The Rev. W Staunton, Archeological Journal XI, (1854), 297