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found at Newstead, Roxburghshire

Postcard of Headstall.
© National Museums Scotland


A headstall fits over a horse's muzzle to prevent it opening its mouth and resisting the bridle. This iron example with an enamelled disc was found at the site of the Roman fort at Newstead in Roxburghshire. It was used sometime between 80 and 180 AD.

The headstall is plain except for the central disc. Now much decayed, the disc was originally decorated with concentric rings of enamel with a brass edging.

Excavations at Newstead have revealed much about the layout, daily life and equipment in Roman camps in Scotland. The Roman cavalry needed a range of equipment for its horses, some for everyday use and some for ceremonies.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-037-050-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 495
Date: Between 80 and 180 AD
Who: Newstead Collection
Where: Scotland, Roxburghshire, Melrose, Newstead
Description: Headstall 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 71. 
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