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Edinburgh, Holyrood Park, Duddingston Loch

Hoard (Bronze)

Site Name Edinburgh, Holyrood Park, Duddingston Loch

Classification Hoard (Bronze)

Alternative Name(s) Queen's Park

Canmore ID 52116

Site Number NT27SE 113

NGR NT 282 724

NGR Description NT c. 282 724

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


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

  • Council Edinburgh, City Of
  • Parish Edinburgh (Edinburgh, City Of)
  • Former Region Lothian
  • Former District City Of Edinburgh
  • Former County Midlothian

Archaeology Notes

NT27SE 113 c. 282 724

Location formerly cited as NT 2820 7241.

A late bronze age hoard was found in 1778 by workmen while dredging for marl from the bottom of Duddingston Loch (centred NT 282 724). The objects came up in the collecting bag with bones, said to be human, and horns of animals (NT27SE 112). The better-preserved objects were presented to King George III and subsequently lost, others were retained by the family of the owner of the loch, Sir Alexander Dick, and some of these were given to Sir Walter Scott while the remainder were presented to the Museum of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (now RMS). This donation included spearheads, swords, rapier, and a bucket-staple; more swords and one spearhead were acquired by RMS(NMAS) in 1935, ultimately from the Scott collection (Acc Nos: DQ 1-44, 302-5). All the spearheads and swords are broken and/or bent, and some have been burnt and partly melted. Types include Ewart Park swords, plain and lunate spearheads, barbed and lunate spearheads, and a ring with staple from a bucket.

Letter Book of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland 1781; W Smellie 1782; OSA 1796; R Chambers 1854; D Wilson 1863; J A Smith 1872; JG Callander 1922; J M Corrie 1928; Proc Soc Antiq Scot 1935; J M Coles and R G Livens 1960; J M Coles 1962; 1966; Soc Antiq Scot 1782.

(Wilburton type - unclassified).

Sword (234), length 61.00cm; terminal width 4.00cm, shoulder width 5.70cm; mean blade width 4.60cm; badly corroded and damaged, hilt in far better condition than the blade. Patina almost worn off but appears to have been dark brown/green; rivets, S : 6, none in situ. Edinburgh NMA (DQ 303, Scott Collection).

(Ewart Park type - Northern unclassified).

Sword hilt fragment (524), length 12.40cm; poor condition, corroded surface, much melted and broken. Patchy black patina; rivets, 3 : 6, none in situ.

Hilt fragment and upper blade of sword (525), length 20.60 cm; shoulder width 5.10cm; poor condition, surface corroded in places; patchy black patina; rivets, ?:2, one in situ.

Hilt fragment and upper blade of sword (526), length 14.30cm; Sh.w. 5.20cm; rivets, ?:2, two in situ. Edinburgh, NMA (DQ 6-8).

(Ewart Park type - Northern unclassified).

Sword blade fragment (559), length 14.60cm; poor corroded surface, much melted and broken. Patchy black patina. Sword hilt fragment (560), length 7.10cm: terminal width 4.20cm; poor, surface corroded, much broken. Drak green patina. Sword hilt fragment (561), length 18.50cm; corroded, slightly melted down; rivets, ?:2, none in situ. Hilt fragment and upper blade of sword (562), length 20.90cm; slightly melted down; rivets 2:4, one in situ. Edinburgh, NMA (DQ 2-5).

C B Burgess and I Colquhoun 1981.

Rapier or dirk blade fragment; good black and gold water patina, extremely corroded and pitted; present L. 14.6cm, present W. 1.9cm. NMA Edinburgh (DQ 26).

CB Burgess and S Gerloff 1981.


NMRS, MS/726/96 (34-5, no. 6).


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