Ford Warrior

Early Medieval, 7th century AD

This burial was found in the remains of a barrow near Ford, Salisbury. It was found next to an early Bronze Age burial mound and near to the Roman road from Old Sarum to Winchester. Both the barrows were flattened due to ploughing and were uncovered accidentally during the course of farming. In 1964 the site was excavated by a team from Salisbury Museum.

The Anglo-Saxon grave contained the skeleton of a man equipped with a hanging bowl, seax (knife), a shield, two spears, a buckle and a bone comb. The seax is a rare object and suggests the man was of some importance, but it cannot be assumed that he was a warrior. As a pagan he believed that he could take these objects into the afterlife, to show that he expected to perform a military role in the next world.

This burial may have been deliberately placed next to the Bronze Age barrow and the Roman road. The link between old monuments and burial, often on the boundaries of settlements and estates, was common practice at this time. It may have been an attempt to show a link between the recently deceased and the earlier generations of people who lived in the area.

Other items in the The Wessex Gallery collection