Blacksmiths forge replica of Saxon sword for a film

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Two Banburyshire blacksmiths have forged ahead with a project to fashion a replica Anglo-Saxon Sword to feature on a film commissioned by Oxfordshire Museums Service.

David Joy runs his own smithy at Tooley’s Boatyard in Banbury, and Stuart Makin owns the Iron Forged Designs smithy in Brackley.

Mr Makin was approached to make the replica of a Saxon Sword unearthed by archaeologists excavating ahead of the Shrivenham by-pass in the 1980s.

The sword had been buried with its owner –thought to be a high status Saxon warrior – and lay underground for 1,500 years.

The process of creating the replica was filmed for a short film entitled Unearthing The Anglo Saxons by Oxfordshire film-maker Sharon Woodward and recently featured in a major exhibition on the Anglo-Saxons at the Woodstock Museum, which is to move to Banbury Museum in 2015.

Mr Joy worked as an ‘apprentice’ with Mr Makin to learn the ancient art of fashioning the highly-decorative sword by a technique known as pattern welding.

He said: “It’s a very fun process to learn because the furnace has to be very hot, even compared to normal processes.

“The metal is molten and when you hit it sparks fly off it. You have to get it to exactly the right temperature then hit it at exactly the right time.”

Anna Griffiths of Oxfordshire Museums Service, said: “It is fantastic and really does show what this object would have looked like. Swords were really important objects in Anglo Saxon times, like the Ferraris of their day.”

n Unearthing the Anglo Saxons will be broadcast on Sunday, June 8 at 7.30pm on Sky 539, Virgin Media 233, Freesat 651 and Freeview 63.