By Cathy Owen
The ring is one of nine finds made by metal detectorists in Wales
A post-medieval gold finger ring found in Carreghofa Community, Powys (Image: Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales; Image: Robin Maggs)
Nine treasure finds dating from the medieval and post-medieval periods have been declared treasure.
The objects were all discovered by metal detectorists and include three gold and silver coin hoards, finger rings and personal items owned by wealthy members of Welsh society from the 9 th to the 17 th centuries AD.
Treasure items must be legally reported and handed over staff at the National Museum of Wales, as the lead heritage organisation managing treasure work in Wales.
National museum curators gather accurate information and report on treasure finds, making recommendations to coroners, the officers who make independent legal judgements on treasure and ownership.
The latest nine finds in Wales that have been declared treasure by the Assistant Coroner for South Wales Central, Mr Thomas Atherton are:
- A late medieval silver-gilt finger ring found in Tregynon, Powys.
- A medieval silver bar-mount found in Llancarfan, Vale of Glamorgan.
- A post-medieval gold posy ring found in Talgarth, Powys.
- A post-medieval gold finger ring found in Carreghofa, Powys.
- A medieval silver annular brooch found in Montgomery, Powys.
- A Tudor silver coin hoard found in Churchstoke, Powys.
- An early medieval silver double-hooked fastener found in Churchstoke, Powys
- A 17 th century gold coin hoard found in Trefeglwys, Powys.
- A medieval gold coin hoard found in Llanwrtyd Wells, Powys.
Three medieval gold coins were found by Chris Perkins and Shawn Hendry while metal detecting in Llanwrtyd, Powys in April 2019. The coins are “nobles” from the reigns of Edward III and Richard II (1327-1399), with a total value of 20 shillings, about 50 days’ wages for a skilled tradesman. They were probably buried for safekeeping around the end of the 14 th century but were never recovered by their owner.
The newly opened Y Gaer Museum, Art Gallery & Library, in Brecon, hopes to acquire the hoard for its new galleries.
Senior Curator Nigel Blackamore said: "Very few gold coins have been discovered within south Powys, so we would welcome the possibility of adding these to the museum's new medieval displays.”
A group of five silver coins - four groats and a Burgundian 'double patard' - was discovered by Aled Roberts and Graham Wood in May 2019, while metal detecting in Churchstoke, Powys. This small hoard was buried in about 1530 during the reign of Henry VIII, whose portrait features on three of the coins.
Y Lanfa Powysland Museum and Welshpool Library hopes to acquire this coin hoard to contribute to the museum’s collection, which does not yet include examples of locally found 16 th century coins.
Centre Manager, Saffron Price said: “It would be wonderful to have these coins within the museum’s collection an to put them on display for the public to enjoy”.
The early medieval decorated silver double hooked fastener was found by Stuart Fletcher in Churchstoke, Powys. The motifs show that this is Anglo-Saxon work belonging to the ninth century, and it was probably used to fasten an upper garment, as functional costume jewellery.
Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales hopes to acquire this artefact for the national collection.
Dr Mark Redknap, Deputy Head of Collections and Research at the National Museum Wales, said: "This unusual object is the first ‘Anglo-Saxon style’ double-hooked fastener to be identified in Wales.
"Reflecting the status of the original owner, it provides new evidence for the exposure of Anglo-Saxon styles within the early Welsh kingdoms, and of the melting-pot of styles and influences from which Welsh identity was to emerge."
The gold finger ring from Carreghofa, Powys was found by David Balfour.
It is a memento mori ring with a flat bezel engraved with a death’s head (a skull), inlaid with traces of white enamel, surrounded by the inscription: + Memento Mori, in small neat italic script.
The inscription, the ring form, style of the engraved skull and neat italic lettering indicate that this ring dates between 1550 and 1650.
National Museum Wales hopes to acquire this artefact for the national collection. Dr Mark Redknap, Deputy Head of Collections and Research said: “This is a rare example of a Tudor or early Stuart memento mori ring with a clear Welsh provenance. Its sentiment reflects the high mortality of the period, the motif and inscription acknowledging the brevity and vanities of life.
"This discovery increases our knowledge of attitudes to death in early modern Wales."