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from Newstead, Roxburghshire

Postcard of Bell.
© National Museums Scotland


This bronze bell was found during excavations at the Roman fort at Newsteadin Roxburghshire. It was used sometime between 80 and 180 AD, perhaps hung off harness. The Romans believed that bells warded off evil spirits.

The small bell is in the shape of an acorn. The top loop for suspending the bell is present, but distorted. The bottom is corroded and fragmentary.

Newstead was the largest auxiliary fort in Scotland in the late 1st century AD. In the 2nd century it held a cavalry regiment and legionary detachment. Excavations at Newstead have revealed much about the layout and daily life in Roman forts in Scotland.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-180-001-819-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0504: National Museums Scotland Part 2
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.FRA 640
Date: Between 80 and 180 AD
Material: Bronze
Who: Newstead Collection
Where: Scotland, Roxburghshire, Melrose, Newstead
Description: Small bell of bronze, acorn-shaped, from the Roman site at Newstead
  • Curle, J. A Roman frontier post and its people: the fort of Newstead. Glasgow: MacLehose, 1911, p 309, Pl LXXXI, 19. 
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