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21.08.2021

Stone Lamp

Medieval

Found in the 1970s during excavations of the archaeological section of the Winchester Museum on Victoria Road, Winchester, Hampshire.

This well-made lamp was carved from fine-grained limestone quarried at Caen in Normandy, and the house from which it was brought may have been quite well furnished. The story goes that the tenant of a house on Victoria Road in 1362 was the very well-to-do William le Horner, an innkeeper, brewer, tapster, and townsman. This lamp may have belonged to him or one of his relatives.

A lamp with a handle made of Caen stone. The bowl is octagonal, with a concave well and a central deep depression. The handle is also octagonal, with four long sides alternating with four short sides. The end has a hole at right angles for hanging. Found in a pit from the 15th-16th centuries. Like specimens from excavations at Winchester prior to 1972, these stone lamps rarely burn, suggesting that they contained removable reservoirs. 

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