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A treasure trove of Herefordshire history

Finds representing four thousand years of Herefordshire’s history were declared ‘treasure’ at a recent coroners inquest which examined three recent metal finds which were discovered in the county.

A solid silver Medieval annular brooch is particularly eye catching and shows the skill of the silversmith who made it for a wealthy person in the 13th-14th century. The owner then lost it in the Eardisley area. This type of brooch is usually made from a non-precious metal like Copper alloy (bronze). Likewise the 14th century silver strap end found in the Canon Pyon area is also normally made from copper alloy. Both show a degree of wealth amongst the Herefordian populace in Medieval times.

The pair of bronze flat axes found near Hereford are c. 4000 years old. They may be broken and damaged now, but they represent the ‘cutting edge’ of new technology from the Early Bronze Age when the ‘wizardry’ of turning rocks into metals was discovered. They were highly prized items at the time and were deliberately buried or deposited in the ground. 

Peter Reavill, Finds Liaison Officer for the Portable Antiquities Scheme said: “It’s always exciting when someone finds a piece of our history. There is quite a long process to go through before items are officially named as treasure”. The next stage will be for a value to be found and then we will need to raise the money to keep them local”. This money is given to both the finder and landowner as a reward for reporting them.

“Through the Portable Antiquities Scheme and the Treasure system, museums have an opportunity to record and sometimes acquire important archaeological finds made by the public. This is so that everyone can enjoy them in the future”. 

 “It will be a few months before a valuation is made on these objects after which the council’s museum service will determine if it can raise the funds to acquire them.”

Finds identification days for archaeology (things more than 300 years old), social history (things less than 300 years old) and art objects are held at the Museum Resource and Learning Centre on the third Tuesday each month, 10am-1pm.  The next one is 19 February when Peter Reavill, Portable Antiquities Scheme, will be there to identify and record archaeological finds.