Press Releases

The Portable Antiquities Scheme Press Releases

TREASURE FOUND IN SOUTH WALES

Medieval and post-medieval objects found in Monmouthshire and Caerphilly

Five objects dating from the medieval and post-medieval periods have today (Friday October 11) been declared treasure by H.M. Senior Coroner for Gwent, Ms Caroline Saunders. The objects were discovered by metal detectorists and are fine examples of high-status personal items owned by wealthy members of Welsh society from the late 12th- to the early 18th-centuries.

The five objects are:

  • Treasure case 18.18, a medieval gold ring found in Mathern Community, Monmouthshire.
  • Treasure case 18.06, a 17th-century gold ring found in Caerwent Community, Monmouthshire.
  • Treasure case 18.07, a pair of late 17th- or early 18th-century silver cufflinks found in Newbridge Community, Caerphilly.
  • Treasure case 18.11, a pair of late 17th- or early 18th-century silver cufflinks found in Devauden Community,Monmouthshire. .
  • Treasure case 18.08, a late 17th- or early 18th-century gold ring from Tintern Community, Monmouthshire.

The gold medieval ring (Treasure 18.18) was discovered by metal-detectorist Mr Keith Browning in Mathern Community, Monmouthshire, in November 2018. Now broken, the ring would have originally held a polished gemstone, possibly a sapphire. It has been dated to the end of the 12th or the beginning of the 13th century by Dr Mark Redknap, Head of Collections and Research at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales.

A late 17th- to early 18th-century gold posy ring (Treasure 18.06) was found with the aid of a metal detector by Mr D. Gilbert in Caerwent Community, Monmouthshire, in March 2018. The ring is decorated with oval patterning on the outside and the inner face is engraved with the motto ‘If worthie none soe happie’. Posy rings, often given as gifts between couples, were popular from the Middle Ages to the 19th century.

Chepstow Museum is interested in acquiring both of these rings for their collections.

A pair of silver cufflinks (Treasure 18.07) was found by Mr Chris Rosewell in February 2018 while metal-detecting in Newbridge Community, Caerphilly. The cufflinks are thought to date from the late 17th to the early 18th century, and are decorated with a raised design of clasped hands above a pair of hearts, surmounted by a crown. A very similar pair of late 17th-to early-18th-century silver cufflinks (Treasure 18.11) was found by Mr Victor Kremenarov while metal-detecting in Devauden Community, Monmouthshire, in July 2018. The cufflinks are decorated with a raised design of clasped hands above a pair of hearts, surmounted by a crown.

This design, found on both pairs of cufflinks, was a common decorative motif from the later 17th century and is often thought to celebrate the marriage, in 1662, of King Charles II and Catherine of Braganza. It later became associated with the theme of marital fidelity more generally, and may also have had Catholic associations. It fell out of favour in the early years of the 18th century.

The Winding House Museum and Chepstow Museum are interested in acquiring these finds, respectively.

A gold posy ring (Treasure 18.08), dating to the late 17th or early 18th century, was found by Mr P. Silva while metal detecting in Tintern Community, Monmouthshire in April 2018. The outer surface of the ring is plain, while the inner surface is engraved with the motto, ‘feare god and loue mee’ (fear God and love me). Monmouth Museum is interested in acquiring the ring for their collections.

Rachael Rogers, manager of Monmouthshire Museums Service, which is acquiring four of the items, commented,

‘These finds will be important additions to the collections of Monmouth and Chepstow museums and it’s great that locals and visitors to the area will get a chance to see the beautiful objects which have been found in our community. All of us can relate to jewellery, so seeing what people would have worn centuries ago is a very powerful way of relating to the past.’

 

ENDS

For further information or images, please contact Lleucu Cooke, Communications Manager Lleucu.cooke@museumwales.ac.uk 

EDITOR’S NOTES

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. In 2015, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, in partnership with PAS Cymru and The Federation of Museums and Art Galleries of Wales (The FED), received a grant of £349,000 from the Collecting Cultures stream of the Heritage Lottery Fund. 

Running until December 2019, the Saving Treasures; Telling Stories Project is ensuring a range of treasure and non-treasure artefacts can be purchased by accredited local and national museums in Wales. The artefacts purchased date from the Stone Age to the seventeenth-century AD.

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

A distinctive website has been developed for PAS Cymru, hosted on the Amgueddfa Cymru website (https://museum.wales/portable-antiquities-scheme-in-wales/). This is the focus for up-to-the-minute information about treasure and non-treasure finds reported across Wales each year. Through the project, archaeological collecting networks are being set up and a range of training, skill-sharing, bursaries and volunteering opportunities are being be delivered. 

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

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