Tiles with coats of arms indicate a high-status environment

10. January 2020 | Nyborg Castle

Skår af kakler med våbenskjolde understreger, at Christian III anlagde sin turneringsplads i en by med rige og betydelige borgere.

Shards of tiles with family crests reveal that King Christian lll established his jousting ground in a town with rich and influential citizens.

When the town square in Nyborg was razed at the start of the 1550’s, it was not the homes of “just anybody” that were moved. Finds from the excavations on the town square draw a picture involving high-status residents from the 1500’s. In particular, some fragments of tiles with coats of arms on them bear witness to this conclusion.

“It’s unusual to find tiles like this in connection with ordinary town buildings, since they are usually linked to high-status environments. Tiles of this type were imported, and quite expensive,” says medieval archaeologist Claus Frederik Sørensen, who is also the leader of the Department of Landscape and Archaeology at the Museums of Eastern Funen.

The tiles were mounted on a wood stove from before 1550 and were found in the square. It is highly likely that they were in a house in the present town square that was torn down or moved in connection with the establishment of the jousting ground in the 1550’s.

It is still unclear whether the coats of arms on the tiles refer to a particular family, or whether they are of a more generic nature and used as a decorative element.

The tile fragments can be seen in the information pavilion.

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