Bronze Age and Roman treasures go on display at museum

The Roman gold ring set with an amethyst and the collection of Roman silver coins

The Roman gold ring set with an amethyst and the collection of Roman silver coins have gone on display at Saffron Walden Museum - Credit: Images supplied by Saffron Walden Museum

Two Bronze Age solid gold bracelets found in north-west Essex, a gold Roman ring found in Broxted, and Roman coins unearthed in Barnston parish have gone on display at Saffron Walden Museum.

The items were found by detectorists and purchased with support from various funds.

Two gold Bronze Age bracelets have gone on display in Saffron Walden Museum

Two solid gold Bronze Age bracelets have gone on display in Saffron Walden Museum - Credit: Images supplied by Saffron Walden Museum

The bracelets, which weigh nearly 200g between them, were found in 2017.

They are in an open C-shaped design known from the late Bronze Age, around 900 to 750 BC.

They may have been deposited in the ground as some form of offering. But there were no clues to suggest who buried the bracelets.


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They were analysed at the British Museum and experts found that the smaller bracelet had a higher gold content than the larger, which contained more silver and copper. This means they were made separately.

Museum curator Carolyn Wingfield said: “Although bronze was the metal used for tools and weapons in the Bronze Age, gold was also worked and highly prized for status objects and personal adornment.

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“After a year closed due to the Covid pandemic, I’m delighted that the museum can celebrate re-opening with such an important find.”

The bracelets were purchased through the Treasure Act by Saffron Walden Museum Society Ltd with support from the Arts Council England, V&A Purchase Grant Fund, Art Fund, the Museums Association Beecroft Bequest and two anonymous donors.

The gold Roman ring set with an amethyst found in Broxted has been purchased by the museum with grant assistance from the Gibson Walden Fund.

The small hoard of late Roman silver coins was found in Barnston parish and was also purchased.

Tony Watson, Chair of Saffron Walden Museum Society, said: “The society and museum are proud to present these splendid prehistoric objects for residents and visitors to see and enjoy.

“Once again, the museum has been very well supported by national and local grant-aiding organisations and the museum society membership in our mission to preserve the heritage of north-west Essex for public benefit.”

Visits can be booked via the museum’s website at www.saffronwaldenmuseum.org

Admission charges are £2.50 adult and £1.25 concessions. Covid safety measures apply.


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