Treasure unearthed at two Wakefield sites

Medieval ring deemed to be treasure was found in Pontefract. Picture supplied by Wakefield Coroners Court
Medieval ring deemed to be treasure was found in Pontefract. Picture supplied by Wakefield Coroners Court

Two historic finds unearthed in the district within three months of each other have both been declared as treasure.

An amateur metal detectorist discovered a medieval gold ring in Pontefract on December 21 last year.

His find followed the unearthing of ten Roman copper coins in Upton on September 13.

A treasure inquest at Wakefield Coroners’ Court on Monday heard that a man, who was not named, found the ring whilst searching a ploughed field.

A statement from the finder said: “I was of the belief that the find must be of significance.”

The ring, which was distorted in shape, had a red stone and nine half-round beads.

In a statement to the court, the assistant treasure registrar at the British Museum said: “It is possible that this is a decade ring used for devotional purposes.”

It is thought that the beads and stone were used to count up the ten prayers of the Rosary in the Catholic tradition.

Worn gothic lettering could be seen on the ring, which is believed to date back to the 15th or 16th century.

Coroner David Hinchliff ruled the find to be treasure, telling the court: “The finger ring is greater than 300-years-old and is greater than 10 per cent gold.”

The Roman coins were discovered scattered on farmland close to North Elmsall.

In a separate treasure inquest, which also took place on Monday, Wakefield Coroners’ Court was told a group of amateur metal detectorists located the hoard.

They were taking part in an organised treasure hunt weekend.

A British Museum report on the coins said they were from Trajan and Hadrian’s reign of the Roman Empire in the second century.

The report advised that the coins were treasure.

Mr Hinchliff said: “Who am I to argue with the assistant treasure registrar at the British Museum?

“I can therefore make a determination that the ten coins constitute treasure.”