Civil war medal is treasure

THIS silver medal dating back to the English Civil War might find a home at Penrith and Eden Museum, an inquest heard.

The small artefact, which could soon go on public display, had remained buried for 375 years in a field at Kirkby Stephen.

The museum in Middlegate, Penrith, has expressed an interest in acquiring the find, which dates to between 1640 and 1675.

Museum curator Sydney Chapman said it was early days in the process and remained subject to a valuation by experts in London.

The medal was found on 20th April last year by Lancastrian metal detector enthusiast Mark Radcliffe on land owned by Stephen and Alan Ewbank, near Kirkby Stephen.

The pendant measures 26mm long by 20mm wide and weighs 2.8 grams. It contains in excess of 10 per cent. precious metal and would have been worn as a sign of royalist allegiance.

A special inquest was held in Kendal, when coroner Robert Chapman declared that the medal was officially treasure.

Mr. Chapman said: “There have been similar examples found elsewhere. All have been dated to the 17th Century and declared to be treasure and a number can be seen at the British Museum.”

Mr. Chapman said it was not certain how much the item was worth but a share of its value would be passed to the finder and landowner if sold.

The item bears the image of Charles I, who was king, while on the reverse is an impression of his wife, Henrietta Maria of France. Sewn into clothing or worn around the neck, it would have been fashionable item when loyalties were divided over how the country should be governed.

Archaeological finds in England, Wales or Northern Ireland are usually the property of the landowner, unless they are officially declared as treasure by a coroner. Museums also have the chance to express an interest in the find and must fund the reward to the finder and land owner.