Visitors to the 70 acre Everards Meadows, in particular the recently opened Everards Beer Hall, may notice a strange looking sculpture on the edge of the outdoor seating area in front of the building.
The structure is a sculpture designed by John Sydney Carter FRBS and is a bronze interpretation of the Enderby Shield discovered on the site in 2015. The sculpture was cast by Leicester based Glenmore Foundry.
The discovered shield itself is unique in being the only one of its kind ever found in Europe.
The find came about as initial plans were being formed for developing the Everards Meadows site. The area used to be farming land and several archaeological treasures had been found in the vicinity.
Routine investigations on the site were undertaken by University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) archaeologists.
The discovered shield had been carefully constructed with wooden laths to stiffen the structure, a wooden edging rim, and a woven boss to protect its wooden handle. The outside of the shield had been painted and scored in red chequerboard decoration. Radiocarbon dating has revealed that the over 2300 year old bark shield was made in the Middle Iron Age, between 395 and 255 BC.
The shield, conserved by York Archaeological Trust is now deposited with the British Museum on behalf of Everards.
Dr Julia Farley, Curator of British and European Iron Age Collections at the British Museum, said: “This is an absolutely phenomenal object, one of the most marvellous, internationally important finds that I’ve encountered in my career.”
Read more about the Unique Enderby Shield:
» Unique Iron Age shield found by Leicester archaeologists (British Archaeology news website)
» Everards reveals more about its new home (News item from Cask Marque website)
» Unique Iron Age shield found at Everards Meadows (Everards website)
» Sculptor – John (Sydney) Carter, FRBS (University of Leicester website)