Press Releases

Treasure found in South-East Wales

Five treasure finds, including two decorative gold finger-rings of medieval date, were declared treasure on Wednesday 25th January 2023 by Sarah Le Fevre, Assistant Coroner for Gwent. 

A late medieval gold iconographic ring (Treasure case 21.48) was found by Mr Ron Ford whilst metal detecting on arable land in Bishton Community, Newport, on 25th September 2021. The ring has an oval bezel engraved with the central figure of St Christopher, carrying the Christ Child on his shoulder whilst wading through water.  The shoulders of the ring are decorated with a stylised foliage design and a collection of lines set in a tally formation have been crudely etched on the inside of the band. 

Sian Iles of Amgueddfa Cymru said: 

Depictions of St Christopher carrying the Christ Child were popular on iconographic rings and devotional jewellery in the medieval period, when saints were venerated for their virtues, and their life stories were celebrated.  A silver-gilt enamelled ring with a similar engraving of St Christopher was found in Llantwit Major, Vale of Glamorgan in 2005 and acquired through the 1996 Treasure Act for the national collections.

Newport Museum & Art Gallery is interested in acquiring this object for its collection, following its independent valuation by the Treasure Valuation Committee.

A late medieval gold iconographic ring (Treasure Case 21.37) was discovered by Mr Paul Tourle while metal-detecting on arable farmland in Devauden Community, Monmouthshire, on 10th September 2021. It has a bezel whose two faces have been engraved with devotional images. On the left face, a woman in hooded gown teaches a girl with halo and full dress to read from an open book (possibly St Anne teaching the Virgin to read). On the right face, St George is depicted with shield and vertical lance, over a dragon with dotted body. The inside of the hoop is engraved with the legend en bon an (‘A good year’).

Dr Mark Redknap of Amgueddfa Cymru said: 

“Such rings bearing engravings of one or more Christian figures or scenes and provide tangible evidence for faith and the popularity of images of sacred people and saints. The inscription implies that it was a New Year’s gift (the same sentiment occurs on a late medieval iconographic ring found near Usk, Monmouthshire).” 

Amgueddfa Cymru - Museum Wales is interested in acquiring this item for the national collection, following its independent valuation by the Treasure Valuation Committee.

Also declared treasure were:

⚫ A small fourteenth-century silver annular brooch with cusped decoration (Treasure Case 21.46), discovered by Mr Mark Watson while metal-detecting on pastureland in Llangattock-Vibon-Avel Community, Monmouthshire, on 26th September 2021. Monmouth Museum is interested in acquiring this item. 

⚫ An eighteenth-century gold finger ring, inscribed with two pairs of initials and the date 1712 (Treasure Case 19.41), discovered by Mr Terrence Shapcott whilst metal -detecting on pastureland in Llanbradach and Pwll y Pant Community on 22nd September 2019. The Winding House Museum in New Tredegar is interested in acquiring this item. 

⚫ A post-medieval gold memento mori seal ring with a skull motif and owner’s initials (Treasure Case 21.05) was found by Mr Abdulla Taleb whilst metal-detecting on rough grazing land in Langstone Community, Newport in November 2020. Newport Museum & Art Gallery is interested in acquiring this item. 


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1. All images to be credited © Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

2. The Portable Antiquities Scheme in Wales (PAS Cymru) is a mechanism to record and publish archaeological finds made by members of the public. It has proved a highly effective means of capturing vital archaeological information, while engaging with non-traditional museum audiences and communities.

3. Each year, between 50 and 80 treasure cases are reported in Wales, as finds made by members of the public, usually metal detectorists. Since 1997, over 600 treasure finds have been made in Wales, with numbers of treasure finds gradually increasing over time, with 76 treasure cases reported in 2022. These finds are adding important new knowledge and understanding of our pasts, a cultural resource of growing importance for Wales. 

4. Treasure items must be legally reported and handed over to PAS Cymru staff and Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum 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.