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Two medieval brooches to go to Welsh museums

Two silver brooches dating back to the Middle Ages that were discovered separately in southwestern Wales have been declared national treasures. Plans are underway for them to be acquired by local museums. 

During a hearing held last month, Paul Bennett, Acting Senior Coroner for Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire, made the determination for these two medieval items following an independent valuation by the Treasure Valuation Committee.

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The first item is a silver medieval annular brooch. discovered by David Johnston while metal detecting on 10th March 2019. The brooch was a single find in a field under pasture in Penally Community, Pembrokeshire and dates to the 12th-13th centuries. Tenby Museum & Art Gallery intends to acquire the brooch for its collection, with Eloise Chapman, Museum Assistant at Tenby Museum & Art Gallery commenting:

“It is always exciting to have the opportunity to acquire a treasure find for the Museum. This lovely little brooch will provide an insight for our visitors into medieval fashion and everyday life in the Tenby area. As we don’t currently have anything like it in the collection, it would be a great addition.”

Photo courtesy National Museum Wales

The other silver medieval brooch, missing its pin, was discovered by Mr Kevin Higgs while metal detecting on 24th April 2019. It was found in a field under pasture in Ambleston Community, Pembrokeshire and dates to the 13th-mid-14th centuries. Arrangements are being made for Scolton Manor Park & Museum to acquire the brooch.

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“As a result of the Portable Antiquities Scheme and the provisions of the Treasure Act, we are building a more accurate picture of fashion in the medieval period,” explains Mark Redknap, Deputy Head of Archaeology Collections and Research at the National Museum Wales. “Silver brooches decorated with niello were popular across medieval Wales and this small example may have fastened clothing made of fine cloth.”

Photo courtesy National Museum Wales

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