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The Bronze Age

Axes & Maces

Axe-hammer, Blairbuy, Monreith

Bronze Age

A complete axe-hammer with convex faces and convex sides and butt.  Found on the farm of Blairbuy sometime before 1950, it was used for many years as an ornament or oddity outside the farmhouse door.


Axe-hammers were in use between 2000Bc and 1500BC.  As the name suggests they combine an axe-like blade with a hammer-shaped end or butt.  They were mounted on a wooden handle which fitted into the hole in the centre of the tool.  No one really knows what axe-hammers were used for.  They may have been woodworking wedges, simple plough shares, weapons or symbols of power and prestige.  Large numbers of axe-hammers have been found in Dumfries and Galloway and there are particular concentrations in Nithsdale and the Wigtownshire Machars.

Place of Discovery:
Blairbuy, Monreith
Length: 170mm; width: 90mm; Height: 80mm
Stranraer Museum
Accession number:
WIWMS 2002.15
Digital Number:
SMAH 011
Dumfries & Galloway Council
Roe, F. 1967 ‘The Battle-Axes, Mace-Heads and Axe-Hammers from South-West Scotland’, Trans. Dumfriesshire & Galloway Natural History & Antiquarian Society, Vol. XLIV, p 57-80.