Three treasure finds from the Bronze Age and medieval periods have today (Friday August 6) been declared treasure by the Assistant Coroner for Gwent, Ms Naomi Rees.

The two Bronze Age hoards (dating to 1000-800 BC) and a medieval silver brooch (dating to the 13th - 14th centuries) were all discovered by metal detectorists.

A hoard of bronze tools (Treasure 17.18) of Bronze Age date was found by Brendan Bishop while metal-detecting in Monmouthshire between June 2016 and January 2017.

Included within the hoard were 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 nearly 3,000 years ago (around 1000-800 BC), probably as a religious offering, placed within an isolated pit in the ground, by a small community of farmers living nearby.

Monmouth Museum hopes to acquire this hoard to strengthen its archaeological collection and so that the find is publicly accessible near to where it was found.

A second Bronze Age hoard of bronze tools (Treasure 17.08) was found by Darren Jessett while metal-detecting in Llanover, Monmouthshire in May 2017.

The hoard of five artefacts includes 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.

Abergavenny Museum hopes to acquire this hoard, adding strength to its growing collection of Bronze Age finds from Monmouthshire, for public benefit.

Monmouthshire Museums Curator, Anne Rainsbury commented: “Bronze Age Hoards are one of the many mysteries from prehistory, and there are fascinating theories about why people may have deliberately buried collections of broken, as well as whole bronze axes and other tools.

’’The locations of these hoards are being carefully mapped to provide another piece of information in this jigsaw, so these finds are really important.

’’We are very pleased that they can take a place in our Museums and help tell the stories of people who lived in Monmouthshire thousands of years ago.”

A decorative medieval brooch inlaid with niello (Treasure 19.02) was found in January 2019 by Steve Cashmore and Mark Jones in Langstone Community, Newport.

According to Dr Mark Redknap, Deputy Head of Archaeology Collections and Research, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, the brooch style is 13th or 14th century:

“Worn primarily as dress-fasteners, this particular brooch form has a curved cross-bar to prevent snagging of textile. This new discovery adds to our understanding of its widespread circulation within medieval Wales, similar examples having been discovered at Abergavenny as well as further afield in the Vale of Glamorgan, Flintshire, Breconshire and on Anglesey.”

Newport Museum & Art Gallery intends to acquire this brooch for its collection, following its independent valuation via the Treasure Valuation Committee.