Report by James Franklin , Reporter
Friday, June 3, 2011
AN ARCHAEOLOGY enthusiast has unearthed a valuable piece of Weston’s ancient past after a Roman ring he discovered near the town was declared treasure trove.
Treasure hunter Andrew Stanley found the antique silver treasure two years ago in a farmer’s field on the southern side of Weston.
And now his find has been confirmed as treasure trove after a coroner’s ruling.
The retired 61-year-old, of Beechmount Close, said he is delighted that his find has been recognised, and also that it could be only the tip of the iceberg as far as the Roman presence in Weston is concerned.
Mr Stanley, a member of the Severn Vale Historical Research and Detecting Society, discovered the ring, which weighs around 4g, in April 2009.
The ring has little monetary value, but is thought by experts at the British Museum in London to be only the fourth of its kind found in the country, with others found near Gloucester, Lydney and Cirencester in the South West.
He said: “I have discovered Roman coins in a similar area in the past, but this is by far the best Roman find I’ve had.
“The Roman era is the one that interests me particularly because there was a lot of Roman action around here.
“What we’ve found, and what we know, points to the fact that there was a thriving Roman port here, so there could be a lot more out there.”
The ring is currently being considered by experts at the British Museum in London, who have confirmed that it dates back to the 3rd or 4th centuries, a time when Roman power in Britain was waning.
It was passed onto the museum by the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, who Mr Stanley originally reported his find to, but he is hopeful it will find its way back to where it was found.
He added: “We’re hoping that it will make its way back to Weston, it was nice to find something that was a bit more archaeologically interesting than usual.”
Assistant deputy coroner Terrence Moore declared the ring treasure trove at the coroner’s court in Flax Bourton on May 26, after hearing that it was over 300 years old, and was more than 10 per cent precious metal.