SEVERAL items of treasure have just gone on show at Penrith and Eden Museum following their recent acquisition through the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

All were found by metal detectorists. They were valued by the Treasure Valuation Court at the British Museum with the reward shared between the finders and landowners.

One is a medieval silver finger ring from Kirkby Thore dating from around AD1150-1250. Its shoulders are formed as two beasts’ heads with protruding eyes and it has an incised cross design within rectangles. It was bought for £200.

There is also a medieval gold stirrup-shaped finger ring dating from around the 13th century AD which was found at Waitby near Kirkby Stephen. It has a small green gem set in its triangular-shaped top and is of a type popular for three centuries, from AD1150. The Friends of Penrith and Eden Museum acquired this for the museum for £600.

A third example of jewellery, again from Waitby, is a medieval silver teardrop brooch made between AD1200 and 1400 which has a pair of cylinder settings originally holding gems. This was purchased for the valuation price of £100.

A hoard of 37 Northumbrian Anglo-Saxon coins from Wharton near Kirkby Stephen has also been put on display. They are known as "stycas" and were minted during the reigns of four kings of pre-Viking Northumbria - Eanred who reigned c810-840, Ethelred the Second who reigned between c840 and c848 - except for the year c844 when Redwulf was king - and Osberht who reigned from c848-867. Osberht was killed during attempts to recapture York from a Viking army and the presence of a coin of this king means the hoard was deposited after c848. Valued at £1,200, the Friends of the museum contributed £600 towards its purchase.

As a nationally accredited museum, the Portable Antiquities Scheme allows the museum at Penrith to have first option to acquire material from the district which is declared treasure by the coroner.

We are delighted to have these intriguing discoveries on show and joining an array of other such finds representing the rich and diverse historical culture of Penrith and the Eden Valley which the museum and its Friends are dedicated to preserving.

Dr Sydney Chapman

Penrith and Eden Museum, Penrith