Silver sword tip dating back to ninth century declared treasure

An early medieval silver sword mount found by a metal detectorist in Shropshire has been declared treasure.

The medieval sword mount was declared treasure
The medieval sword mount was declared treasure

The artefact, which features animals on its four broad faces, was found in Cheswardine on February 15, last year, an inquest heard.

Shropshire Museums have expressed an interest in acquiring the piece, which is believed to have been from either the ninth or early 10th century.

The inquest heard that the artefact was much damaged and had probably distorted from its original shape, and it could have been part of a scabbard from which a sword would be drawn, or a decorative feature to help secure a sword.

Other similar finds have had more straight and distinguishable sloping faces, rather than appearing as more of a rounded receptacle.

It was also explained that more investigation into the piece could have been done had it not been for the Covid-19 lockdowns, and further information may be gleaned subsequently.

John Ellery, senior coroner for Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, declared the item as treasure, as the find was more than 300 years old when discovered and formed of precious metal – silver, with a content of more than 10 per cent. He declared the item treasure under the 1996 Act.

Similar items have been found in south Shropshire before. In 2019, a silver sword mount was found in Culmington, a village between Craven Arms and Ludlow.

Mr Ellery said at the time that such mounts were familiar as stray finds with ever-increasing numbers recorded on the Portable Antiquities Scheme database.

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