Saltfleetby Spindle Whorl (LIN-D92A22)

Lead spindle whorl with runic inscription

A lead spindle whorl found at Saltfleetby St Clement, Lincolnshire, and inscribed with runes. The dating of the spindle whorl is uncertain, and dates in the late Viking Age, the early eleventh century, or even the twelfth century, have been suggested. The spindle whorl is inscribed with Scandinavian runes that appear to mention the Norse gods Odin and (possibly) Heimdall. The object is likely to have been produced locally, though the runes demonstrate contacts with the Scandinavian world of the time, perhaps especially Norway.

John Hines has suggested the translation ‘Óðinn and Heimdallr and Þalfa, they are helping you, Úlfljót, and …’. For further discussion of the text, see the open-access article by Jesch referenced below. For more on runes, see our Runes page.

Object Type

Spindle whorl


1000 — 1200


Ascribed Culture





Viking Objects

Current Location

Private Ownership


Danelaw, Heimdall, Lincolnshire, Norse_mythology, Odin, Portable_Antiquities_Scheme, runes, runic_inscription, spindle_whorl, textile_production, Viking, women