This delicately decorated gold ring was unearthed in 2011 close to a former bishop’s dwelling in the north of the Isle of Man.

Its design and location suggest it may have belonged to a high-ranking medieval church official. The Isle of Man has its own bishop – the Bishop of Sodor and Man – a title that dates back to AD1000 when the island was part of the archdiocese of Trondheim in Norway. In 1266 the island was absorbed into Scotland and became a strategic prize in the wars between Scotland and England. During this period church officials were the most important people on the island and this ring is a symbol of that wealth and power. A flower and dot pattern decorate the areas either side of the bezel and the claw setting – bent in antiquity – would have held a stone. The ring can be chronologically associated with coin hoards and other finds and may have been buried for safekeeping. As a medieval item of ecclesiastical personal adornment of such precious metal content, it is unique among the Manx national collections.


Reported discovery by metal detectorist from site with relevant history.

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