Bridle bit (Fragment)

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from Newstead, Roxburghshire

Postcard of Bridle bit (Fragment).
© National Museums Scotland

Bridle bit (Fragment)

This fragmentary bronze bridle bit for a horse harness was found during excavations at the site of the Roman fort at Newstead in Roxburghshire. The decoration on the bit is in a local style. It was used sometime between 80 and 180 AD.

The bridle bit is of a type known as a 'derivative three-link' bit. About half of a cheekpiece survives. The use of bosses is paralleled on a range of metalwork from northern England and Scotland at this period. The bit shows signs of wear.

There were two classes of Roman soldiers: the elite legionary and the ordinary auxiliary soldier, each with its own particular type of equipment. Some of the auxiliaries were recruited locally, and used native weapons or equipment, such as horse fittings.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-037-053-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 498
Date: Between 80 and 180 AD
Material: Copper alloy
What: Bit / fragment
Who: Newstead Collection
Where: Scotland, Roxburghshire, Melrose, Newstead
Description: Copper alloy three-link bit fragment, from Newstead
  • Curle, J. A Roman frontier post and its people: the fort of Newstead. Glasgow: MacLehose, 1911, Pl. LXXV, 6. 
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