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Brechin, Cauldhame

Hoard, Sword(S) (Bronze)

Site Name Brechin, Cauldhame

Classification Hoard, Sword(S) (Bronze)

Alternative Name(s) Cauldinghame; Leuchland; Leuchlands

Canmore ID 35720

Site Number NO65NW 1

NGR NO 60 59

NGR Description NO c. 60 59

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number AC0000807262. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Angus
  • Parish Brechin
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District Angus
  • Former County Angus

Archaeology Notes

NO65NW 1 c. 60 59

See also:

NO66SW 8 Brechin Railway Station hoard

NO56SE 19 Brechin Bronze sword

A Late Bronze Age hoard Consisting of four swords, a spearhead and a chape was found on the lands of Cauldhame or Cauldinghame (PSAS 1855) near Brechin, c.1853.

Two swords and the chape are in are in National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland (NMAS DL 8-10) and the other two swords may be those in the British Museum described as being from Leuchland. There is reason to believe that another chape in the museum of Marischal College, Aberdeen, may belong to this hoard. What became of the spearhead which was described as 'one of the largest examples hitherto discovered in Scotland' is not clear. Coles (1962), apparently erroneously, says it formed part of the original donation to NMAS in 1853, and described it as being leaf-shaped with rivet-holes. Caldhame was the name given to the east district of Brechin (Ordnance Survey Name Book [ONB] 1860) (Caldhame Place NO 606 597) but Magdalene's Chapel (NO65NW 8) was also known as Caldhame Chapel (Jervise 1861).

Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1855; Name Book 1860; A Jervise 1861; J M Coles 1962.

This hoard is originally said to have comprised four swords, one spearhead and one chape, but the donation to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in 1853 (by the Lords Commissioners of HM Treasurt) comprised two swords (nos. 469 and 501), one spearhead and one chape. Coles concluded that two swords in the British Museum belonging to a hoard from Brechin belonged to this hoard. Schmidt and Burgess are suspicious of this argument as these swords are definitely of Hallstatt type, while those from Cauldhame are of Ewart form. While the association is by no means impossible, it cannot be accepted as proved.

469. (Ewart Park type - Northern step 1). Sword with top of hilt missing. Length 55.4cm, shoulder width 4.8cm, maximum blade width 4.15cm. Corroded surface but dark shiny green patina showing through. Rivets 2:2 (+2 bl), none in situ. NMAS DL 8.

501. (Ewart Park type - Northern step 2). Sword. Length 60.15cm, shoulder width 5.15cm, maximum blade width 4.5cm. Rather corroded; appears to have been well cast; dark khaki patina. Rivets 3:4, one in situ. NMAS DL 10.

723. (Gundlingen type - unclassified). Found on peat moss on Leuchlands Farm; no. 740 came from the same farm but their is no evidence for the two weapons being found in association. Single find. Sword with top of hilt missing. Length 66cm, shoulder width 5.2cm, maximum blade width 3.65cm. Khaki patina, damaged shoulder. Rivets ?:6, five in situ. British Museum (WG 1237, Greenwell Collection).

740. (Gundlingen type - variant d). Found on peat moss on Leuchlands Farm; no. 723 came from the same farm but their is no evidence for the two weapons being found in association. Single find. Complete sword. Length 66.8cm, terminal width 3.75cm, shoulder width 5.85cm, maximum blade width 3.25cm. Rivets 2+1 (notch):4, six in situ. Messy black patina. British Museum (WG 1238, Greenwell Collection).

C B Burgess and I Colquhoun 1988.

There appears good reason to consider the discoveries of Cauldhame and Leuchlands as the same: the Cauldhame district of Brechin is on the E side of the town at NO 60 59 while the farm of Leuchland is at NO 621 599.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 24 August 1989.


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