A small piece of rusted iron discovered by Wessex Archaeology at Springhead, near Gravesend, turned out to be a 5th - early 6th century Visigothic brooch.

The Visigoths (West Goths) were one of the German tribes. Settled near the Black Sea in the 3rd century AD, by the 6th century they had migrated west and reached Spain and southern France.

The Springhead brooch is a very exciting discovery indeed. A number of similar brooches have been found in southern France and central Spain, with a few in northern France, but this one is the first to be found in Britain.

X-ray photography showed that the brooch was made of iron with silver inlay, very similar to two Visigothic brooches found in Fr�nouville, Normandy.

In the last 30 years or so a number of objects of Visigothic design have come to light in this country, mainly in south-east England.

The Springhead brooch is another piece of evidence suggesting connections between the cosmopolitan people of Kent and the small number of Visigothic groups known to have lived in northern France at the time.

Could it be that the Springhead brooch was worn by a Visigoth here in Kent?

To read the article in full and to find out more about the archaeology of Springhead