Workmen extending the graveyard found this Norse (Viking) iron sword, copper alloy pin and blue glass bead in St Cuthbert's Cemetery in Kirkcudbright in 1888.There was no report of a skeleton, but the finds are typical of the objects usually found buried in the graves of male pagan Norsemen.
The site of a probably 8th century Northumbrian minster church dedicated to St Cuthbert lies within the original cemetery, so this pagan burial must have been close by. This important church gave its name to the later burgh and present day town - Kirkcudbright - the Kirk or Church of St Cuthbert.
The finds are indicative of the Scandinavian settlement of Galloway in the 10th and 11th centuries. Norse settlement is also indicated by local Scandinavian placenames such as Borgue and Rerrick.
Historians have suggested that Norse settlement was encouraged by the ruling Northumbrians in order to bolster the defences of Galloway against the British Kingdom of Strathclyde and Gaelic sea raiders.
In the collection of The Stewartry Museum, Kirkcudbright.