Metal detectorist unearths brooch deemed to be treasure

Brooch. Image supplied by Wakefield Coroner's Court
Brooch. Image supplied by Wakefield Coroner's Court

A centuries-old gold brooch discovered by a metal detectorist in a village on the outskirts of Pontefract has been deemed to be treasure.

The brooch, believed to date back to the 13th or 14th century, was found in a field in Darrington in April this year.

An treasure trove inquest, which took place at Wakefield Coroner's Court this morning, defined the discovery as 'treasure' due to the age of the brooch and its precious metal content.

Coroner David Hinchliff read aloud a report from the British Museum about the find.

It said the brooch was circular shaped with a triangular shaped pin and had raised decorative detail.

It had an old inscription on the front, translated to roughly mean 'I am here in place of a friend I love'.

It is believed it may have been one of a pair.

The court was told a similar inscription had been noted in previous treasure finds including on a 14th century gold fidet ring.

And a number of gold annular brooches with inscriptions have also been found in Norfolk, Shropshire and on the Isle of White.

The medieval brooch was discovered when a metal detector club searched land in Darrington on April 16.

One man, the court was told, got a signal indicating his equipment had come across a metal object.

He searched with a trowel and unearthed the brooch.

Two days later, he met with the land owner to show him the find.

And he then reported it to the Portable Antiquities Scheme, to then be assessed by an expert at the British Museum.

Coroner Mr Hinchliff said: "The finder was an associate member of the National Council for Metal Detectorists who over the years had built up a very firm knowledge of the professionalism and responsibilities that are required for this hobby."

The brooch's value, where it will be kept and any reward for the finder will now be determined