A goblin's house and a Roman shrine?(read more)
Lead spindle whorl
DERSB : 3697
Lead spindle whorl found at Thirst House Cave, Deepdale, 100-280CE. Spindle whorls are used to weigh down thread as it is spun.
Thirst House Cave was excavated by father and son, Micah and William Salt of Buxton in the 1890s, when they investigated both the interior and slope outside. They found burials at the base of the slope one individual had been placed in a limestone pit with a pot of cremated bone, a bronze ring, and a bronze armband and another in a stone box or cist.
The assemblage of artefacts including brooches, pottery, and coins suggest that the cave was occupied between 100CE and 160CE and again between 240CE and 280CE.
The cave has been well known to local people for hundreds of years and it had entered into local folklore. The old name for the cave was Hob Hurst House named for an unpredictable goblin or elf who was supposed to dwell there. Over time the name corrupted to The Hurst House, then Thhurst House, and finally Thirst House.
Micah Salt (1847-1915) was a tailor in Buxton who had a great interest in archaeology. This was usually a hobby of the elite and he was described, rather condescendingly, in a contemporary journal as "an intelligent tradesman". Salt excavated many lows (burial mounds) around Buxton, and acquired finds from local farmers and landowners. His findings were collated by W Turner and published in 1899 as 'Ancient Remains near Buxton: The Archaeological Explorations of Micah Salt). This book records many of the first objects that were given to the museum.
- Description: length 25mm; depth 9mm
- How old is it? Roman
- Who collected it? Salt, Micah (collector)
- Rights: Creative Commons CC BY-NC 4.0 Buxton Museum and Art Gallery (part of Derbyshire County Council)