Press Releases

Treasure found in the Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff

Roman coins and medieval rings declared treasure

A hoard of Roman silver coins and two medieval finger rings have today (25 November 2015) been declared treasure by H.M. Coroner for Cardiff and The Vale of Glamorgan.

The Roman silver coins were discovered by Mr. Richard Annear and Mr. John Player while metal detecting in a field at Wick in the Vale of Glamorgan on 13 December 2014. The coins were found partly scattered by previous ploughing and the finders left the undisturbed portion in the ground before reporting the finds to Mark Lodwick, Co-ordinator of the Portable Antiquities Scheme in Wales (PAS Cymru) and archaeological curators at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales. This allowed museum staff to lift it intact for detailed excavation in the museum laboratory.

The find comprises 91 Roman silver denarii (coins) which were buried in a locally-made pot.  The coins date from the period of Emperor Nero (AD 54-68) to Marcus Aurelius (161-80) and the latest coin was struck in 163-4. Fourteen emperors and empresses are represented. The hoard also contained three coins issued by Mark Antony in 31 B.C., still in circulation after nearly 200 years.

Edward Besly, numismatist at Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales said:

 “Each coin represents about a day’s pay at the time, so the hoard represents a significant sum of money.

“The hoard’s find spot is only a mile (1.6 Km) as the crow flies from that of another second century silver hoard found at Monknash in 2000, which comprised 103 denarii, buried a little earlier, around 150. Together the hoards point to a prosperous coin-using economy in the area in the middle of the second century.”

The two medieval rings were found in Llancarfan in the Vale of Glamorgan by Mr David Harrison in December 2013.

The silver finger ring in the form of a decorated band, tapering away from bezel. The decoration, which extends all along the external face, has been first engraved and then inlaid with niello (now only partially preserved, but represented by dark material in parts of the engraved design). The ring is of twelfth-century date. Parallels include one from the Lark Hill hoard, Worcester (buried c. 1173-4).

The gold decorative ring has a repeating pattern of alternating half-flowers filling triangular panels, separated by a deep zig-zag moulding and considered to be of the late fifteenth-century.

Dr Mark Redknap from the Department of History & Archaeology, National Museum Wales, said: ‘These are finger rings from different centuries - one twelfth-century and the other fifteenth-century - reflecting different traditions of fine metalworking, which are important indicators of changing fashions in south Wales during the medieval period’.

Additional finds from the area declared treasure today include:

• A 15-16th century silver pendant from Penllyn, Vale of Glamorgan

• A 17th century silver gilt finger ring from Penllyn, Vale of Glamorgan

• A 15th-16th century silver finger ring from Llancarfan, Vale of Glamorgan

• A 13th-14th century silver brooch from Llancarfan, Vale of Glamorgan

• An early 18th century gold finger ring from Rhoose, Vale of Glamorgan

• A Late Bronze Age hoard from Penllyn, Vale of Glamorgan

• A Late Bronze Age hoard from Pentyrch, Cardiff


These treasure items will be acquired by Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales supported by grant funding provided through the Saving Treasures; Telling Stories Heritage Lottery funded project.


Great archaeological discoveries from around the world and the big screen will be on display in a major new exhibition Treasures: Adventures in Archaeology at National Museum Cardiff from 26 January – 30 October 2016. To celebrate 2016, Year of Adventure in Wales, the Museum will host extraordinary gems from popular culture including the hat, whip and jacket of Indiana Jones, crystal skulls and Inca Gold alongside early finds such as Egyptian Mummies.



For more information or images, please contact Lleucu Cooke, Communications Officer:

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Notes to Editors:

1. 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.


2. Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, in partnership with PAS Cymru and The Federation of Museums and Art Galleries of Wales (The FED), has recently received a confirmed grant of £349,000 from the Collecting Cultures stream of the Heritage Lottery Fund.

For 5 years from January 2015 – December 2019, the project Saving Treasures, Telling Stories will ensure a range of treasure and non-treasure artefacts can be purchased by accredited local and national museums in Wales. The artefacts purchased will date from the Stone Age to the seventeenth century AD.

A three year programme of Community Archaeology Projects will be delivered across Wales, working with local museums, metal-detecting clubs, local communities and target audiences.

A distinctive website will be developed for PAS Cymru and hosted on the Amgueddfa Cymru website. This will also become the focus for up-to-the-minute information about treasure and non-treasure finds reported across Wales each year. Through the projects, archaeological collecting networks will be set up and a range of training, skill-sharing, bursaries and volunteering opportunities will be delivered.


3. ‘Making History’. Redevelopment Project at St Fagans National History Museum.

Wales’s archaeology collections will eventually be redisplayed in new galleries at St Fagans National History Museum in Cardiff.  This will be the first time that national collections of archaeology and cultural, industrial and social history will be displayed together in an open-air museum.  The project will also see the creation of an open-air archaeology zone and the re-imagining of two buildings – an Iron Age Farm and a Medieval Prince’s Court.