Bronze Age Gold from Wales

The ‘Tiers Cross’ hoard, Pembrokeshire

This is a Middle Bronze Age hoard (1300-1150 BCE) comprising a gold flange-twisted bar torc and two gold bar torcs. The three torcs had been coiled, rope-twisted and shaped before burial, in order to better fit when originally buried, probably in a pit feature dug into the ground.

The discovery was made during metal-detecting activity, however unfortunately, the account of the discovery given by the finders was found to be less than accurate upon further investigation by museum archaeologists. Therefore, the exact find-spot in this part of Pembrokeshire could not be clarified and corroborated. The hoard was declared treasure at a Treasure Trove Inquest in November 1991, held in Haverfordwest and then purchased for the national collection.

The hoard adds significantly to the variety and concentration of gold torcs known in Wales, making it a hot-spot for gold torc burials within Atlantic Europe. These hint at the mining of Welsh riverine gold ore sources during the Middle Bronze Age. It signals wealthy communities at this time, in which people of high-standing displayed their status by wearing gold.