These four finely made torcs are thought to be the earliest Iron Age gold items ever found in Britain.



Two metal detectorists discovered the hoard of three necklaces and a bracelet in a field in Leekfrith, Staffordshire, in 2016. The items were buried close to the surface and about one metre apart.

The torcs were examined by Julia Farley, curator of British and European Iron Age collections at the British Museum, who described them as ‘a unique find of international importance’. She dated the jewellery to around 400-250BC and identified the style as Continental, suggesting the pieces may have been worn by wealthy women who had married into the local community. The gold content of the torcs is at least 80 per cent.

Two of the necklaces (one of them broken into two pieces) have plain gold loop bodies with thistle-head terminals. The third necklace is of a twisted-wire type linked by a clasp. Most important of the group is the unusual twisted bracelet, with its elaborate Celtic decoration on the terminals.

The torcs now join the archaeology collection at the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, where they will shine new light on Staffordshire in the Iron Age.

Provenance

Discovered by metal detectorists, on land near Leekfrith, Staffordshire in 2016 with permission of the landowner. Subsequently declared Treasure.


The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery

Bethesda Street, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST1 3DW
01782 232 323
Website

Opening times

Mon – Sat, 10am – 5pm
Sun, 11am – 4pm

Please see the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery website for Christmas opening



Exhibitions at The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery

Back to top