‘Magical’ swords on display

Magic swords at the Guildhall
Magic swords at the Guildhall

MYSTERIOUS swords from the 13th and 14th centuries that were discovered at the bottom of the River Witham have gone on display at Boston’s Guildhall Museum.

The two artefacts were marked with ‘magical’ inscriptions that, as yet, have bamboozled experts.

The best guess is that the swords were dressed to give them ‘magical properties’ – such as the powers to beat a foe and endow the sword with the life force energy of their opponents.

It is possible that the inscriptions were not visible when they were made but have been unveiled after centuries of decay.

Questions also surround the swords’ discovery, as they were close together at the bottom of the river near Bardney.

One suggestion is that they were placed in the water as an offering to the Gods.

Old Leake ring

Old Leake ring

At that time, the Witham was the ‘motorway’ of the day between Boston and Lincoln, so the swords’ owners may have been from this area.

The swords are iron double-edged with a groove running down the greater part of the blade.

One has a straight hand guard and a wheel pommel. The other is similar but with a large flat disc-shaped pommel.

When found, this sword was broken and it was crudely welded together by a blacksmith which has caused damage to an inscription.

The swords are on loan from Lincolnshire County Council’s The Collection.

Also new on display are golden rings from the late 16th or 17th centuries.

One was found at Frampton and is in the form of a garter with buckle and strap the other is a gold signet finger ring found at Old Leake.

It is medieval and has a personal seal with inscriptions around the bezel.  

It has a border of incised crosses/lattice decoration around the ring and seal. These are also on loan from The Collection.

Fighting knights wade into battle at the Guildhall today (Wednesday) and tomorrow.

The Knights of Skirbeck will appear in full armour to showcase life among 14th century knights.

Displays will take place in the museum before they engage in combat on the lawn at next-door Fydell House.

They will be at the museum and Fydell House from 10.30am to 3.30pm, last admission 
3pm. Admission to both venues is free.