North Wales finds spanning the Bronze Age to post-medieval period declared Treasure

A collection of ten silver coins minted during the reigns of Edward I and Edward II were among the finds.

Six finds including a Late Bronze Age hoard of tools and weapons, a collection of 13th century coins, and a post-medieval silver seal matrix bearing a crowned heart motif have been declared Treasure.

They were evaluated by Mr John Gittins, the Senior Coroner for North Wales.

Hoard of tools and weapons from the Late Bronze Age © Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

The oldest of the finds was a hoard of bronze tools and weapons dated to c. 850 BC. It was discovered in Abergele Community, Conwy, by metal-detectorist Colin Rivett in 2017, and then fully excavated by staff of the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS).

The assemblage comprises two scabbard fittings (chapes), seven bronze socketed axes, three bronze palstaves, and a copper ingot fragment.

According to Mark Lodwick, co-ordinator for the PAS Cymru, the artefacts had been ‘carefully arranged within a small pit’ with a stone, now lying flat, immediately adjacent. This was ‘likely to have been a marker stone’.

Silver seat matrix © Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

Whilst metal-detecting in Llanynys Community, Denbighshire last year, Marc Boulton unearthed a silver seal matrix engraved with a crowned heart motif and dated to between the late 17th and early 18th centuries.

Matrixes were used to authenticate and seal documents. Their designs offer insight into the beliefs and fashions of post-medieval populations.

Sian Iles, Curator of Medieval and Later Archaeology at Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales, says: ‘crowned bleeding-heart motifs and associated designs are seen to represent marital fidelity and love, and in some contexts religious and political (Royalist) beliefs.’

A collection of silver medieval pennies and cut halfpennies, minted between 1247 and 1265 during the reign of Henry III, were also included in the inquest. These were found by metal detectorists Marc Boulton, Michael Evans, and Michael Burt in Bonington Community, Wrexham.

The coins possibly represent the contents of a purse, once lost or intentionally hidden and never recovered.

Ten silver pennies dated to the reigns of Edward I and Edward II. © Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

A post-medieval silver head-dress pin of ‘bodkin’ type, a collection of ten silver coins minted between 1279 and 1310 under the reigns of Edward I and Edward II, and another find of two silver pennies from the reign of Edward IV (1461-1483) were also declared Treasure. They were all unearthed by metal-detectorists in Llanynys Community, Denbighshire.

Independent valuations of all six finds will be conducted by the Treasure Valuation Committee.

Following this, the Henry III coins are set to be acquired by Wrexham County Borough Museum & Archives, and the Bronze Age hoard by Conwy Culture Centre.

Denbighshire Heritage Service hope to acquire the seal matrix, bodkin pin, and collection of silver pennies.