Hoop tongs

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found at Newstead, Roxburghshire

Postcard of Hoop tongs.
© National Museums Scotland

Hoop tongs

These hoop tongs were found at the site of the Roman fort at Newstead in Roxburghshire. They were used by a blacksmith between 80 and 100 AD.

The tongs' pincers project at right angles to the main body of the tool. This design suggests that they were used for making and attaching the iron tyres which run round the circumference of wooden spoked wheels.

The Roman army needed blacksmiths to make iron tyres, fittings, and nails, as well as to repair weapons. A number of objects used in the smiddy have been found in the Roman forts. Tongs such as this one were used in later times by American pioneers.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-036-960-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.FRA 298
Date: Between 80 and 100 AD
Material: Iron
Dimensions: 18.00" L
What: Tongs, smith's
Who: Newstead Collection
Where: Scotland, Roxburghshire, Melrose, Newstead
Description: Smith's iron tongs from Newstead
  • Clarke, D.V., Breeze, D.J., and Mackay, Ghillean. The Romans in Scotland. An introduction to the collections of the National Museums of Antiquities of Scotland. Edinburgh: National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland, 1980, p 60. 
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