A MEDIEVAL ring unearthed by a Pendle treasure-hunter in Kirkby Lonsdale has been described as the ‘find of a lifetime’.

Archaeology enthusiast Craig Scott was on a rare trip out with his metal detector when he found a silver 14th century ring in just six inches of soil in a field.

Engraved with the letters ‘IESUS’, two clasped hands and a five point star, experts say the ring is an extremely rare find.

“I just thought it was an old bolt because of its shape, it wasn’t until I brushed the soil off I realised it was a ring with seven faces.

“It’s without a doubt the best thing I’ve ever found – it’s exciting for me but also very exciting for the area,” said Mr Scott, a member of the Lune Valley Metal Detecting Club.

The pure silver, religious ring would have been worn by a wealthy landowner to show off his devotion to God, according to Finds Liason Officer Dot Boughton.

It is now being restored at the British Museum after the coroner for South and East Cumbria Ian Smith declared the ring as ‘treasure’ at an inquest in Kendal.

“Cumbria is rich with Roman finds, I’ve recorded over 1,000, but I have never recorded anything from the medieval period from Kirkby Lonsdale before so it was a shock,” said Miss Broughton.

“It tells us a lot about Christian life in the area and how the wealthy displayed their faith.”

She said wealthy men would have worn them instead of a crucifix but usually they were made out of copper so a silver version would have belonged to someone exceedingly wealthy.

Bosses at Kendal Museum are now in the process of trying to buy it to display in their collection.

Mr Scott, 36, from Laneshawbridge, said the find was a stroke of luck as he hardly ever went on detecting rallies any more.

"Since having children, I only manage to get out with my metal detector about two or three times a year, so I was just incredibly lucky,” he said.

Mr Scott’s own research into the ring – which is engraved in the ancient Lombardic script – has suggested that it may have been worn to ward off the plague.

The five point star is also supposed to represent the five wounds of Christ.

The Independent Treasure Valuation Committee will now value the ring and the proceeds will be split between Mr Scott and the landowner, who wishes to remain anonymous.