Six metal detectorist finds ranging in date from 800 BC to the 16th century have today been declared treasure by H.M. Coroner for Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire, Mr Mark Layton.

The objects were all discovered by members of the public, and are of high significance as they will allow archaeologists to shine a light on lesser known parts of Wales’ history.

The six finds are:

  • A hoard of one hundred and five Roman coins found in Angle Community, Pembrokeshire.
  • A fragmentary Viking silver arm ring found in Jeffreyston Community, Pembrokeshire.
  • A medieval silver seal matrix found near St Dogmaels, Pembrokeshire.
  • A 16th-century silver decorative gilt ring found in Manorbier Community, Pembrokeshire.
  • A post-medieval silver scabbard chape found in Camrose Community, Pembrokeshire.
  • A hoard of three fragmentary Bronze Age socketed axes found in Kidwelly Community, Carmarthenshire.

The small axe hoard, discovered by Mr Paul Williams, is the oldest of the treasure cases, at nearly 3,000 years old.

It is likely they were deliberately damaged before being buried as part of a small ritual ceremony performed by a local community or bronze workers.

Adam Gwilt, Principal Curator of Prehistory at Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales (AC-NMW), said “The hoard was buried in the vicinity of the meeting of the Rivers Gwendraeth, Tywi and Taf, where they then flow into Carmarthen Bay.

"This suggests that this landscape location, near rivers and coast, was particularly valued and significant to these Bronze Age communities.”

The Roman coin hoard, found by Mr Stephen Witts, had been buried during the 3rd century AD and covered with an inverted bowl.

According to Edward Besly, Numismatist at AC-NMW, the coins form a typical third century hoard and the carefully chosen location of the burial, not far from a spring, suggests that they may have been being saved for future use.

The penannular (incomplete circle) silver Viking arm ring was found by metal detectorist Mr Kenneth Lunn.

It is of particular interest as it was found near another arm ring fragment which was declared treasure in 2014

Dr Mark Redknap, Head of Collections and Research at AC-NMW said: “This suggests that it was once formed part of a hoard buried in the late 9th or early 10th century and so it sheds important new light on Viking age activity in Pembrokeshire in this period.”

Dr Redknap added: “The significance of this find has become apparent because of the accurate recording of the findspot by Mr Lunn.”

The silver seal matrix was found by Mr Roy Cox, and is engraved with the letters P and I – presumably the initials of the original owner.

According to Dr Redknap, “Medieval seal matrices are important and the Portable Antiquities Scheme in Wales (PAS Cymru) has been able to record a number over the years. This cumulative database reveals hidden histories, providing us with names of individuals otherwise anonymous from the historical record; as well as information on their status, kinship, the economy power and religion in Wales.”

The 16th century ring, found by Mr Shaun Butler, is similar to other examples, including one found onboard Henry VIII’s warship, Mary Rose (lost 1545), as well as other sites across England and Wales.

The silver chape, found by Mr Frank Walters, can be dated to the late 16th or early 17th century and was likely used for a narrow-bladed weapon such as a rapier.

All the objects are being acquired by museums, with grant aid from the Saving Treasures; Telling Stories Project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.