Spike lamp



Saxo-Norman cresset or spike lamp in a grey fabric with sooting from use. Fragmentary but a complete profile. The spike or cresset lamp form occurs at least as early as the early 10th century and is characteristic of the Saxo-Norman period. Medieval illustrations show spike lamps were used by being suspended in metal loops (McCarthy and Brooks 1988, 116-7, fig. 58). The use of oil lamps is considered a less common and more expensive form of lighting than tallow candles in medieval contexts (Ottaway and Rogers 2002, 2987).