Binbrook’s one in a million find

A medieval pendant found at Binbrook has become the one millionth discovery of buried treasure to be recorded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

The medieval pendant which was discovered at Binbrook and recorded by the Finds Liason Officer at North Lincolnshire Museum
The medieval pendant which was discovered at Binbrook and recorded by the Finds Liason Officer at North Lincolnshire Museum

The copper-alloy medieval harness pendant was recorded by the Northern Lincolnshire finds liaison officer based at North Lincolnshire Museum.

The pendant, believed to date back to between 1350 and 1400 AD, would have been attached to a horse’s harness and may have had a heraldic device on it showing who owned the horse or employed the rider.

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The Portable Antiquities Scheme records archaeological finds often discovered by metal detectorists.

Finds have included pots of Roman coins and precious jewellery. One Lincolnshire find was part of a pure gold Bronze Age bangle discovered near Brigg.

In this case, the landowner waived their right to a reward, enabling North Lincolnshire Museum to acquire the bangle at a reduced cost.

The Portable Antiquities Scheme is run by The British Museum and local partners.

During 2020, 49,045 archaeological items were discovered in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Michael Lewis, head of the PAS, said each find was “part of the great jigsaw puzzle of our past”.

The recently published PAS annual report said of the items discovered last year, 91 per cent were found by metal detectorists, with 1,077 deemed to be treasure.

Arts Minister, Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay, said: “Human beings have been fascinated by treasure from previous generations for centuries and these new statistics show the search for, and engagement with it, still captivates us today. I’m delighted that one million records of archaeological finds made by the public have now been logged.

“It shows the important role we all can play in protecting and cherishing our heritage.”

Thousands of archaeological objects are discovered every year, and if they are recorded on the Portable Antiquities Scheme they can help archaeologists understand when, where and how people lived in the past.

Anyone who finds something that could officially be deemed treasure under the Treasure Act 1996 has to report it to the local coroner via the local Finds Liaison Officer.

Museums can then acquire the object, and a reward is usually shared equally between the finder and the landowner.

If they waive their right to a reward it enables the museum to acquire the treasure at a reduced or no cost, as was the case with the Brigg gold bangle.

The item would have been worn by someone of high importance as much as 3,000 years ago.