The Cauldrons - CLHG

Chiseldon Local History Group
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The Cauldrons


The Chiseldon Cauldrons were discovered in November 2004 in a field to the south west of the village.  It was a unique find: the largest group of Iron Age cauldrons ever to be discovered in Europe.

A metal detectorist had discovered the badly-corroded fragments of a bronze bucket and, on removing them from the ground, found he then had a much stronger signal beneath.  A small hole was dug and about 25cm down an iron ring approximately 10cm in diameter attached to a  curved surface was revealed.  The site was closed down pending a decision on further action.

Initially, the find was believed to be either of medieval or later date, but material analysis of the bronze fragments showed that they were of Iron Age date.  This caused considerable interest, and Wessex Archaeology, together with a conservator from the British Museum, carried out a dig in June 2005.

Excavations revealed a 2-metre diameter pit dug into the chalk into which a number of bronze and iron cauldrons - now thought to be as many as seventeen - had been carefully placed.  Ox skulls had been placed above and below the deposit.

The cauldrons were excavated in blocks and stabilised before lifting and removed to the British Museum.  They are now being cleaned and conserved under laboratory conditions and the first cauldron has gone on display in the Iron Age Gallery of the British Museum.  Click here for more details and a video of the British Museum's conservation of the first cauldron.

CHLG has had a replica made of one of the Chiseldon Cauldrons, constructed by Hector Cole, a renowned blacksmith and metal worker who specialises in reproducing ancient metal objects using the techniques available at the time.  For his website,  click here.

The cauldron was unveiled on November 16th 2013 in The Memorial Hall, Draycott Road, Chiseldon. It will be on display in the Chiseldon Museum and available to other organisations on loan.

Thanks to the generosity of Chiseldon Parish Council and private donors, we have paid for the replica.  If you would like a copy of the Cauldrons booklet (£2.50), please email us at:

Supported by Chiseldon Parish Council
© Chiseldon LHG 2020
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