Bronze Age and medieval finds from Wales declared treasure

Among the Welsh finds declared treasure was a 15th-century gold ring belonging to the Bronington Hoard.

A Bronze Age gold ornament is one of several finds unearthed in Wales that have recently been declared treasure.

Dating back to the Late Bronze Age (1000-800 BC), the gold lock-ring was discovered by metal-detectorist Chris Wood in 2018 on a ploughed field in Holt Community, Wrexham.

© *********/Amgueddfa Cymru – M A Late Bronze Age gold lock-ring found in a ploughed field in Holt Community, Wrexham.  IMAGE: © Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

The high-status ornament would have possibly been worn in the hair.

Adam Gwilt, Principal Curator for Prehistory at Amgueddfa Cymru – Museum Wales, said: ‘The quality of the decoration on this artefact is impressive and it begs the question “how did its maker, an expert goldsmith, manage to expertly hand scribe 79 concentric circles on a gold sheet just four centimetres wide?”.

‘The resulting visual effect, created across the surface of this golden ornament, suggests this was once a highly valued possession. It would have marked out the wearer, female or male, to be a well-connected person of high standing within their community.’

© *********/Amgueddfa Cymru – M  A medieval gold fede ring discovered in a field under pasture in Bronington Community, Wrexham. IMAGE: © Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

Several medieval artefacts were declared treasure, among them a 15th-century gold fede ring featuring white enamel decoration and two raised pelleted ridges spaced with a floral design. It bears an inscription reading ‘de bon cuer’ which translates as ‘of good heart’.

The ring belongs to the Bronington Hoard from Wrexham, which had been deposited sometime after 1465 and included more than 50 coins and a sapphire ring.

A medieval silver buckle-plate, intricately decorated with an openwork design of Gothic tracery, and a silver penny of Richard II (1377-1399) were also declared treasure. The coin was found inserted into the open end of the buckle-plate, which would have been attached to the wearer’s belt or a silk girdle.

© *********/Amgueddfa Cymru – M Medieval silver buckle-plate. IMAGE: © Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

Several finds dating to the early modern period were also among those declared treasure, including a silver coin of James I (1566-1625) and five of his son Charles I (1600-1649), as well as a late 17th-century or early 18th-century gold posy-ring with an inscription reading ‘Gods providence is our inheritance’.

© *********/Amgueddfa Cymru – M Four silver coins of Charles I found in a field in Esclusham Community, Wrexham, during a metal-detecting rally.  IMAGE: © Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

The finds were declared treasure by Kate Sutherland, Assistant Coroner for North Wales (East and Central).