Medieval treasure found in field

The treasure was found in a field near Little Ouseburn.(2210019)

The treasure was found in a field near Little Ouseburn.(2210019)

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A MEDIEVAL silver matrix found by a metal detector enthusiast near Boroughbridge is officially “treasure”, a coroner has found.

Metal detectorist Neil Cocliff found the 700-year-old piece of silver jewellery in a field near Little Ouseburn on New Year’s Day this year, and reported it to archaeology officials.

As the find is more than 10 percent silver - a precious metal - it qualifies as “treasure” under the laws governing archaeological finds, and a museum must be given the chance to buy it.

The silver seal was described by Finds Liaison Officer Amy Downes as being in “very good condition”.

It shows an inscription that translates as “Seal of William Walls”, and features a stylised animal head and fleur-de-lis design.

Measuring approximately 37 x 20 x 4.8mm, it weighed 8.78 grams.

“There is a museum interested in acquiring it, so these finding will be forwarded to the relevant authorities for that to be taken forward,” coroner Rob Turnbull said as the ruling on Thursday, April 12.