[N]ew finds from the Eden area discovered with metal detectors and declared treasure under the Treasure Act (1996) are now on display at Penrith and Eden Museum in Middlegate.
They were all independently valued by the Valuation Court which sits at the British Museum. The Friends of the Museum bought a Charles 1st medallion from Kirkby Stephen dating to between AD 1640-1675 and valued at £200. It features a portrait of the King and the reverse depicts a crowned Royal Stuart coat of arms surrounded by the Garter. It was probably worn to demonstrate Royalist allegiance during the English Civil War or Interregnum.
The Friends also purchased a medieval coin hoard of ten silver coins from Crosby Ravensworth valued at £404. The coins consist of pennies of the reigns of Edward I (1272-1307) and Alexander III of Scotland (1249-1286) the latter of which are common finds in hoards of the time as both currencies were freely interchangeable. The coins were found in a straight line over a distance of 6-10m among rocks and crevasses and it is likely these were an accidental loss from someone’s pocket. The face value of the hoard is 10d with a purchasing power of about £17.60p in today’s money.
A gold and amethyst gemstone ring from Waitby has also been bought by the museum for half the valuation price. Under the provisions of the Act the finder, tenant and/or landowner are entitled to share the reward. In this case the landowner waived the right, allowing the museum to acquire it for £300. The ring dates from the 13th to 14th century AD, has a simple plain band of undecorated gold for the hoop (roughly oval-D-shaped in cross-section), with a stepped and bevelled rectangular gold bezel mounted with the amethyst.
Curator Dr. Sydney Chapman says “They add to a series of finds that have been acquired by the Museum in recent years under the provisions of the Act and through the Portable Antiquities Scheme which allows museums with Accredited status to have first option to acquire material declared Treasure by the Coroner. Again the Museum is indebted to the Friends of Penrith and Eden Museum for their continuing financial support in helping to preserve our local heritage.”