Yorkshire Museum

The York Helmet

The York Helmet was found by mechanical digger operator Andy Shaw in May 1982, as builders prepared to start work on a new York shopping centre.

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He felt his machine strike something hard in the ground which turned out to be what is now known as The York Helmet – one of only three complete examples from the Anglian period found in England.

The helmet was in a wood-lined pit with fragments of antler, stone, glass and iron, close to the site where archaeologists had earlier found the remains of Viking settlers.

It is made of iron and copper alloy and dates to the second half of the 8th century. The helmet is stylistically Northumbrian and has many unique details.

After its discovery it was reconstructed to its original state by the British Museum. It is sometimes known as the Coppergate Helmet, after the area where it was found close to the Jorvik Centre.