The Hope-Taylor Finds

The Hope-Taylor Finds

Brian Hope-Taylor holding a cinerary urn found during the Gefrin excavations
Brian Hope-Taylor 
died in January 2001, and his archive passed to the Royal Commission of Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. Amongst the material, reflecting a lifetime’s devotion to archaeological investigation, were notebooks, photographs and pottery and other objects he had discovered during his excavations at Yeavering between 1952 and 1962.

Through the generosity of the Purvis estate, the latter passed into the ownership of the Gefrin Trust who commissioned a Conservation Report including x-rays of all metalwork and repackaging of the material in conservation-quality material.

The Trust intends to produce a new ‘Catalogue of all the Small Finds’, incorporating also the finds form the later, 1976, excavations. These fragments are the extraordinary survivals of life on a seventh-century Anglo-Saxon royal settlement: items produced, handled and used by the inhabitants of Yeavering over 1,300 years ago. The range of the material and its potential to add significantly to the story of the site are outlined briefly on the pages here. Click on the links above for more information.

Where possible the metal finds have been x-rayed, stabilised and conserved. Different categories of material have been sent for examination to a variety of small finds and artefact specialists.

Work on the Hope-Taylor Archive, in partnership with the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, is giving the Trust better insight into Brian Hope-Taylor’s investigation of the site.

At the same time, through survey and observation we are becoming more familiar with the site and developing a better understanding of its singular personality. The intervening years between Hope-Taylor’s investigations and the purchase of the site by The Gefrin Trust have seen technical advances which, in the coming years, will allow the Trust to continue to develop Brian Hope-Taylor’s excellent work.

And an Appeal to Colleagues: The Catalogue of Finds. 

As a pilot project,
 we would like to draw upon the specialist knowledge of colleagues in producing our Catalogue of the Finds.

We would be particularly interested to hear of possible parallels to the Finds in collections elsewhere and their contexts, as well as suggestions that might shed further light upon them. If you can help us please contact the Secretary.

To contact the Secretary, Roger Miket, e-mail;