The Gilling Sword is a late 9th Century Anglo Saxon sword, and the owner of a replica of the sword asked if I could make a scabbard which may have adorned it.

By late 9th Century, Anglo Saxon scabbard finds have very little in the way of ornate chapes and fittings, which seemed to be much more of a feature in earlier centuries. The cordwork was based on a contemporary drawing to the sword, and an Anglo Saxon buckle and belt end that was also contemporary was spotted on the PAS database and made in silver.

The core was made from Poplar and lined with goatskin (evidence based) and then the cordwork was glued in place. The bridge was made from Hazel as it is light and strong, and its shape was also evidence based. The 1mm veg-tanned leather was sewn in place whilst wet, and the mouthpiece sewn in place, and later stained all in one go.

Although there is no evidence for Anglo Saxon scabbards of this period being tooled, the owner had shown great restraint in agreeing to making this scabbard as authentic as possible, and so some minimal tooling was done on the straps.

Needless to say, the owner was very happy with the scabbard, so much so that the plan was to get a handmade replica of the Gilling sword to replace the one seen in the photos.