Drawings of Anglo-Saxons


Drawings of objects

Anglo-Saxon Buckles

Drawing of buckle
Buckles were known as dalc or fifele to the Anglo-Saxons.
Both men, women and children wore them on belts. However some of the most elaborate buckles have been found in male graves so were probably mostly worn by men. Anglo-Saxon belts were made of leather or textiles, such as tablet woven wool, linen or hemp.
Replica textile belt
Buckle from Abingdon Oxfordshire
Most Anglo-Saxon buckles were small, plain and made of bronze (copper alloy) or iron. This fragment of an iron buckle (AN1935.47i) was found at Abingdon in Oxfordshire.
There were also buckles which were decorated and highly ornate.
Drawing of decorated buckle
Buckle from Mitchell's Hill, Icklingham

This buckle (AN1909.479b) was found at Icklingham in Suffolk. It is made of bronze and, although it is quite small (about 6cm), it has a complicated pattern on both the buckle and buckle plate.

The buckle plate was used to attach the leather or textile to the buckle, making the join stronger. These plates were made either of a single sheet of cast metal or a folded rectangular sheet of metal.
Buckle from Wallingford Oxfordshire
Buckle from Faversham Kent

This triangular style of belt plate was popular in the early Anglo-Saxon period (AD 450-650). This example (AN1909.138) was found at Faversham in Kent.

The more decorative plates and buckles may have been worn by wealthy Anglo-Saxons or by those of high status.

Some belts also had pieces of metal (mount) which would decorate the belts, such as this example from Dorchester in Oxfordshire (this belt is in the virtual gallery case 3 ).

Dorchester Belt drawn by Naomi

Drawn by Naomi

See more examples of buckles in the virtual gallery (case 7 )