Many archaeological discoveries have been made in Derby – though many of the exact find spots are unknown. We’ve used modern technology to pin these objects digitally at various locations around the city!
Here you can see a bone plaque, discovered somewhere in Derby in the late 1800s.
The inscription is written in Old English runes which read as, “GOD GECATH ARAE HADDA THI THIS WRAT“. This translates into modern English as, “God saves by his mercy Hadda who wrote this”.
The plaque dates from around 700-900CE – a period in which the Danes invaded the Kingdom of Mercia, capturing and renaming the town of ‘Deoraby’
The small plaque measures only 9cm by 2cm. It’s one of the earliest pieces of writing to have been found in Derbyshire after the withdrawal of the Roman legions in 410CE. It also an early mention of Christianity in Anglo-Saxon Derbyshire. It was donated to the British Museum by Sir Augustus Wollaston Franks in 1890.
You can see this plaque on show at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, lent by the Trustees of the British Museum.
Find out more about this object and others in the collections of the British Museum.