Bronze Age Gold from Wales

The Heyope hoard, Powys

These three gold ribbon torcs were found crushed into a golden ball. They have been disentangled and re-formed into their original shapes as worn. They are of an early twisted gold style, dating to the Middle Bronze Age (1400-1275 BCE).

The hoard was found on 10th June 1955 in a steep sloping field south of Cwmjenkin Farm by the farmer, during ploughing of the field for the first time. The torcs were found, at a ploughed depth of less than nine inches, in a recently ploughed clod of earth. They were shown by the farmer’s niece to her geography teacher, who contacted the National Museum of Wales. The torcs were the subject of an Inquest, declared Treasure Trove and purchased for the national collection in 1955.

This is the only known find of gold ribbon torcs in Wales. In recent years, a similar discovery of gold ribbon torcs and bracelets was made at Priddy, Somerset and these were also found crushed into a ball. This hints at a deliberate re-combining of these gold ornaments before they were returned to the ground. The possible link with sun symbolism is a tempting connection to make.