Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Medieval Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Jana K. Schulman

Second Advisor

Dr. Robert Berkhofer

Third Advisor

Dr. Graeme Young


Bamburgh castle, Anglo-Saxon, archaeology, metalworking, blacksmithing

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This thesis opens with an investigation of the evidence for blacksmithing and non-ferrous metalworking in Anglo-Saxon England during the Middle- and Late-Saxon periods, c. 700-1066. The second chapter of this thesis focuses on knives and non-ferrous strap-ends during this period in order to discern any regional distinction in metalworking from the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria. I initially conjectured that Northumbrian knives and strap-ends would show stylistic differences from knives and strap-ends made in other Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, but in this chapter, I conclude that Northumbrian metal objects were homogenous with the assemblages from the remaining kingdoms. In the final chapter of this thesis, I assess the collection of metal objects uncovered at the Anglo-Saxon smithy site at Bamburgh Castle. In my analysis, I use an archaeologically oriented approach; after I pull the metal objects from the small finds register, I divide them into the groups of ferrous, copper-alloy, and lead objects. I then assess the types of objects most commonly made out of these metals on this site. After this process, I plot the objects on a map of Trench 3 in order to discern any patterns of distribution. As I suspected, the objects cluster around the southern end of the trench near to where the smithy building was discovered. These conclusions and the extent of metal object production indicate that Bamburgh Castle was the location of a significant production site within the Northumbrian economy.