Treasure found in North Shropshire ‘key’ to understanding medieval history in the area
SHROPSHIRE’s metal-detecting community received hail after the discovery of medieval treasure near Market Drayton.
On Thursday, May 6, a treasure investigation was conducted to investigate the circumstances of a recently reported Cheswardine find near Market Drayton.
This discovery was reported through the Portable Antiquities Scheme, after it was discovered by responsible metal detection
This artifact in question weighs no more than 10 grams and measures less than an inch in height, but is “ exquisitely ” decorated and dates to the early Middle Ages, made during the 9th or 10th centuries (800 -950 AD).
The artistic style of this piece is known as the Trewhiddle decoration after a great ironwork treasure found in Cornwall.
However, due to the broken form, it is uncertain as to its precise function.
One idea that has been suggested is that it forms a small button-like stud that fits over a sword scabbard to secure leather straps, although experts believe it is more likely to be a fragment of a much larger form of decorative fitting with a larger diamond. shaped panels.
The edges of the lower half have recently been broken and so it is hoped that more coins can be collected from the same field in the future.
Shropshire Museums have expressed interest in acquiring these finds, with the hope of exhibiting them in the Roman galleries of the Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery.
Peter Reavill, of the Portable Antiquities Scheme at the British Museum and Birmingham Museums’ Trust, said the find showed the “ real value ” of metal detection.
He added: “The recovery and reporting of this piece will provide a better understanding of the rich and diverse nature of late Saxon / early Middle Ages in Shropshire.
“In many ways we are a county on the border between the Welsh Kingdoms, West Mercia and the wider Danelaw and so the nature of our history is complicated – it is in collecting information on materials like this – here we can tell a truer story. and it’s great that the museums of Shropshire are able to acquire this through the treasury act. ”
Meanwhile, Sarah Skelton, Curator of Shropshire Museums, added: “This is a precious relic from the early Middle Ages, a time from which few objects survive.
“Acquiring this artifact helps us learn more about the history of Shropshire at that time and how cultural styles were shared and exchanged.
“Highly decorative metal objects like this show us the high status of the people who wore and used them.
“They help bring to life what people were doing in Shropshire in the early medieval period.
“Acquiring it for the collections of the Shropshire museums and presenting it to the public will allow local people to see for themselves the exquisite craftsmanship and craftsmanship with which it has been done, so many years ago. ‘years. ”