A BRONZE Age hoard found by a metal detectorist in a field near Grosmont has been officially declared treasure.

Abergavenny Museum is now hoping to acquire the 2,100 to 2,800-year-old artefacts unearthed by Wayne Williams in April 2019, including seven socketed axes, a sword blade fragment, six casting-jets and two ingots.

The hoard may have been buried for safe-keeping, but experts at National Museum Wales believe it more likely it was buried as a religious gift by a local bronze smith.

Naomi Rees, Assistant Coroner for Gwent, also declared a small hoard of bronze socketed axes found in a field in Michaelstone-y-Fedw treasure trove last week.

Monmouthshire councillor Lisa Dymock, Cabinet Member for Community Wellbeing and Social Justice, said: “No two Bronze Age Hoards are ever the same, which makes them intriguing and the subject of important study as each one adds to the body of knowledge and the picture of our prehistory.

“This hoard from the Grosmont community is so interesting because it shows just how precious every piece of bronze was, and that all these broken blades and scraps were important enough to bury in this way.

“It’s remarkable how these small fragments can help us tell more stories from Monmouthshire’s past in our museums.”

Chris Griffiths, a research student at National Museums Wales, said: “Through this and other recent finds, we are learning more about areas of Wales where little was previously known,” he said.

“The high proportion of raw materials and casting by-products within this hoard is unusual, suggesting that there may have been a workshop nearby.”

Casting jets are excess reservoirs of metal created at the top of the mould during casting, later snapped off once the object had cooled.

Up to 60 treasure cases are reported in Wales every year as finds made by members of the public.

Abergavenny Museum is hoping to acquire the Grosmont hoard following an independent valuation by the Treasure Valuation Committee.

Other local Bronze Age finds dating from as far back as 800 BC were also declared treasure last summer.

A hoard of bronze tools was found by Brendan Bishop while metal-detecting in Monmouthshire between June 2016 and January 2017.

Monmouth Museum hopes to acquire the artefacts, including two fragments of a bronze socketed knife, two bronze socketed axes with rib decoration on their faces and a blade fragment from another bronze socketed axe.

They were buried together in a pit in the ground nearly 3,000 years ago, probably as a religious offering by a small community of farmers living nearby.

Another Bronze Age hoard of bronze tools was found by Darren Jessett while metal-detecting in Llanover between Abergavenny and Raglan in May 2017.

Abergavenny Museum hopes to also acquire these finds, which comprised two bronze socketed axes with rib decoration, the fragment of a plain bronze socketed axe, a bronze winged axe fragment and a bronze casting jet.