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A rare cavalry helmet thought to have been produced between the late first and the third century AD is on display for the first time in Cumbria.

Hailed by experts as 'one of the great masterpieces of Roman metalwork', the helmet was discovered on farmland near Penrith three years ago by a person using a metal detector.

Named after the hamlet in which it was found, it is one of only three such helmets to have been unearthed in Britain.

The item is a copper alloy two-piece face mask visor helmet, consisting of a male face framed by a ring of curls and topped with an extremely rare Phrygian cap which is decorated with a griffin.

Identified as a bronze ceremonial parade helmet, it was made for sporting events rather than battle and the fine detail of its craftsmanship make it a remarkable example of Roman technical achievement.

The mask was found intact and the helmet in 67 fragments which have been cleaned and restored by experts. Originally, the piece would have been made up of polished white metal with golden-bronze hair and colourful streamers attached to the back.

The Crosby Garrett helmet will move to British Museum for display from 3 February 2014. The exhibition at Tullie House is supported by the Art Fund and The Monument Trust.

Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery

Castle Street, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA3 8TP

01228 618718


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Open from Tuesday to Saturday 10.00am – 3.00pm

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