The Grimston Sword

Celtic Iron-Age sword

This is a Yorkshire World Collections object, one of 100 chosen by young people aged 16-24, as part of the London Cultural Olympiad programme Stories of the World.

In 1902 labourers uncovered the grave of a Celtic warrior at North Grimston. The dead man had been buried with a shield, two swords and a joint of pork. The smaller of the two swords was decorated with an anthropomorphic (human-shaped) handle. Similar swords have been found as far apart as Ireland and France suggesting a wide spread Celtic culture.


What is it?

The Grimston Sword is a Celtic Iron–Age sword

When was it made?

It was made between 606-508 BC

Who made it? 

It was made by a Celtic blacksmith for a Celtic warrior

Who used it?

A Celtic warrior used it in battle

Curriculum Links

History – Invaders and settlers
Design Technology – Making of the sword/materials
PSHCE – Power and symbolism of the sword in society

Discussion Ideas:

  • How far do you think the Celtic culture reached to?
  • What are the characteristics of Celtic designs and symbols?
  • Where might you see Celtic designs used these days?
  • Who were the 'Settlers' and 'Invaders' of this period?
  • The video has a soundtrack but it is more of an 'ambient' one. Write your own soundtrack that describes the story of the sword in words rather than ambient sound. Send them to us at and we'll publish the best ones.

You can watch a video on You Tube: 'The Sword's Story', an historic re-tracing of the Grimston Sword built in games design software by James Carter, Michael Brown, Stephen Cullen, Lewis Gohl, Andrew Hutton, Matthew Smart and Ross Nixdorf; BA (hons) Interactive Multimedia students at Hull School of Art and Design. (see Related Links at the bottom of this page).

What Hull Multimedia students said about making this video:

'We were inspired by the Grimston Sword in the collection at the Hull and East Riding Museum. This Celtic iron age sword is the main focus of our piece, as we chart its journey through history. We have shown the three key points in the life of a sword: its creation, re-discovery, and its place in the museum, to demonstrate that artefacts are not just an object sitting behind glass'.

Google Map: This is where The Grimston Sword was found»

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