Iron Age Shield Exhibition

Iron Age Shield Exhibition

Exhibition opening times

During our temporary exhibition of the Pocklington Shield we are open with extended times from 1st April until 29th April

Exhibition opening hours: Tuesdays to Saturdays 10.30 am – 3.30 pm


A unique Iron Age shield, found in a chariot burial in Pocklington, will be coming to Malton Museum during the month of April.

It is some 2,400 years old and is a fine example of Celtic art, and a new example of prestige metalwork.

For more information on planning your visit we have a Visit Us page to help guide you.

Find out more below, or take a look at this BBC article for a brief introduction to the shield, and follow us via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for the latest information.

Don’t miss the chance to see this iconic object.

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More about the Pocklington Iron Age Shield

Found in 2018, this iconic Iron Age shield had lain undiscovered for more than 2,400 years.

It has been called “the most important British Celtic art object of the millennium” by Melanie Giles of Manchester University.

It is a bronze alloy shield with a wooden and copper alloy surround and would have been an important part of the elaborate funeral rites for a charismatic leader. It is ornate but was designed for combat with a large central boss.

The shield is from a chariot burial, which are unique to E Yorkshire area of Britain. It was found at a dig in Pocklington. It also held skeletons of 2 ponies which were still attached to the chariot.

It was discovered face down on the chariot with the body of a man placed on top in a crouched position. The man was aged at least 46, or possibly older. His funeral would have been a very dramatic affair and probably went on for many hours.

Other grave goods were found including a great deal of pork, possibly for the journey to the after-life. In Iron Age culture pork would have been an expensive commodity but this would have all been part of the ritual.

As this shield is a very rare object and is a new example of prestige metalwork, and only a few other complete Celtic shields are held in the British Museum, so we are really excited to be welcoming this shield as a temporary exhibition at Malton Museum.

British Museum Celtic shields:

The Battersea Shield

A Bronze shield facing; scrolls in relief; made of several pieces of sheet bronze. With twenty-seven red glass ‘enamel’ framed studs.

The Battersea shield is not in fact a complete shield, but only the facing, a metal cover that was attached to the front of wooden shield.

The Chertsey Shield

An Oval shield, made entirely of copper alloy sheet 1-1.25mm thick. Made from nine sections. Broad copper alloy binding around edge. Simple decoration on front, a long spine with ridge rising over the spindle boss, diminiutive terminal finial roundels.

The Witham Shield

A Copper alloy decorative front of a shield, originally fixed to a wooden or leather back. The shield has two roundels, a central spine and boss with La Tène decoration. The shadow of the shape of a boar remains as a different colour in the patina on the front of the shield.