Gold found in Shropshire field by metal detectorist is declared treasure

A seventh century gold bar has been declared treasure after being found in a Shropshire field.

The item was discovered in Stoke-upon-Tern, near Market Drayton, by metal detectorist Karl Forrester.
The item was discovered in Stoke-upon-Tern, near Market Drayton, by metal detectorist Karl Forrester.

The item was discovered in Stoke-upon-Tern, near Market Drayton, by metal detectorist Karl Forrester.

This is how the seventh century gold ingot measures up

Shropshire Museums have expressed an interesting in acquiring the item to display publicly.

An inquest was held to determine whether it should indeed be considered treasure.

A Shirehall hearing was told that the item was discovered in 2019, and was an incomplete gold ingot, probably dating back to the seventh century.

It weighs 3.5 grammes and is 10.4mm long, 11.1mm wide and 3.6mm thick.

A report prepared by Teresa Gilmore, finds liaison officer for Birmingham Museums Trust, said the ingot "is semi-circular, with flat front and back sides".

She added: "The top of the ingot is rounded, with bevelled edges, and the lower edge is incomplete with a jagged edge.

"Faint hammer marks can be seen on the flat surfaces.

"The shape and style, with flattened front and back, is suggestive of ingots in the seventh century. Although it has not been tested using XRF analysis, from appearance and style it is probably substantially precious in nature.

"As it is older than 300 years, with a precious metal content in excess of 10 per cent, it should be considered to be potential treasure under the requirements of the Treasure Act 1996."

John Ellery, senior coroner for Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, said: "Shropshire Museums have expressed an interest in acquiring it. In these circumstances, I declare the find to be treasure."

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