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Sussex trumpet – Dord Ard

circa 750 AD

Sussex Trumpet – Bronze Age trumpet – mid range end-blown ‘dord-ard’, key of E-flat, made in 1998.

This decorative bronze trumpet was cast with another two in 1998. It is taken from a drawing of an original found in a well in Sussex, England in the late 18th Century AD. The drawing was sourced and given to Simon O’Dwyer by Philip Carr-Gomm founder of The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. Originally drawn by Grosse in 1775, the trumpet was reported to have been recovered from a well at Battle in Sussex. Said to have been in the possession of a person of ‘ill-repute’ , it subsequently disappeared in London and has not been seen since. Three examples of this instruments were designed and made by O’Dwyer and cast in the Dublin Art Foundryin 1998. The first was given over to Philip Carr-Gomm on the Island of Iona in 1999. The second was presented to Peter Holmes of London and the third remains in the keeping of Ancient Music Ireland. Though similar to its Irish counterparts yet the design and shape of this ‘Sussex’ trumpet is slightly different.

There is somewhat of a mystery as to why this trumpet occurs in South East England. One possibility is that it may have been acquired by one of the soldiers of King Harold’s army upon defeating the Vikings in 1066. It may then have been sounded at the subsequent defeat of Harold by the Normans at Battle in Sussex and then discarded in the well! There are many examples of ancient artifacts such as swords, axes and knives being re-used again in more recent times.

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