Persimmon Homes

Iron Age shield goes on display at museum in Yorkshire

06 April 2023

The shield, uncovered in a Persimmon dig, has been hailed as the most important Celtic discovery of the millennium.

Main image: Kevin Hollinrake MP (MP for Thirsk and Malton and Minister for Business and Trade), Paula Ware (archaeologist and Director, MAP Archaeological), Phil Crabtree (Chairman, Malton Museum), Matthew Owen (Technical Director, Persimmon Yorkshire).


An Iron Age shield, hailed as the most important Celtic discovery of the millennium is on public display for the first time at a museum in Yorkshire.

Some 2,400 years old, the shield was unearthed during an archaeological dig commissioned by Persimmon Homes on a development in the town of Pocklington in East Yorkshire.

Found in a Celtic grave alongside a chariot and two upright horse skeletons, the shield was discovered face down on the chariot with the body of a man placed on top in a crouched position. The man is thought to be of high social status who died between 320BC and 174BC.

Discovered back in 2018, the shield has undergone a lengthy conservation process revealing its ornate design in all its former glory. The style of the shield’s decorations is that of early Celtic art.

The shield has been gifted by Persimmon to local museums so that the treasure remains close to where it was discovered, starting with Malton Museum in the town of Malton.


Phil Crabtree, Chairman of Malton Museum said: “Malton Museum is proud to be hosting this very special artefact.

“It is one of the most significant archaeological finds in recent history and we would encourage anyone with an interest in the Iron Age to come visit us this month to enjoy this extraordinary exhibition.”

Kevin Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and Malton added: “This important discovery shows the rich history we have in our area. After seeing the shield for myself, I hope that everyone comes to see it to learn a bit more about our local heritage and to see the amazing restoration work that has brought it back to life."

Paula Ware, from MAP Archaeological Practice who led the excavation of the grave said “The entire team at MAP have been thrilled to have undertaken the archaeological excavations on behalf of Persimmon and we’re delighted that the Shield is going on display in Malton Museum.”

Scott Waters, Managing Director for Persimmon Yorkshire said: “Interest in the shield since it was discovered has been incredible and so we’re delighted to have played our part in helping ensure that such an exceptional finding has been preserved.”

The shield is now on display until the end of April at Malton Museum, in Malton, North Yorkshire. During the exhibition, which runs until 29th April, the museum will be open Tuesdays to Saturdays 10.30 am – 3.30 pm.

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