One Name Study of Gronow / Gronnow / Goronwy

One Name Study of Gronow / Gronnow / Goronwy

Tuesday, May 09, 2017


A complete cast lead seal matrix, of Medieval date (c. 1250 - c.1350 AD).
Found near Llangollen, Denbighshire Wales, the seal matrix has a circular die, with a large D-shaped lug on the reverse. This is rectangular in cross-section and has an off-centre sub-circular perforation, diameter 2.52mm. No marks appears to be visible to aid orientation of the die.
The die depicts four leaves arranged in an quatrefoil design, surrounded by a grooved border and then the legend around the edge. Each leaf consists of five diagonal petals or leaves. The legend appears to read + S': GRONW MON AP HOVA (Seal of Gronw Mon Son of Hova). Gronw is a known medieval Welsh name (Gronw Pebr appears in the Mabinogion). Mon is Welsh for Anglesey, although both the M and O of Mon appear to have horizontal contraction marks over them. Hova may be an approximation to the name Hywel.
The seal matrix is a light mid grey colour, with an even surface patina present. Some of the edges demonstrate a minor degree of abrasion, resulting in the illegibility of the inscription and roughening around the edges.
The seal matrix measures 15.82mm tall, 27.68mm diameter at the base and the top of the handle measures 13.63mm wide by 3.74mm thick, the die is 5.30mm thick. It weighs 30.4g.
Personal seal matrices with names were most popular in the 13th century.

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part of the Portable Antiquities Scheme website: