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East Lancashire brothers find medieval treasure in Ribble Valley field
TWO East Lancashire brothers who have discovered medieval treasure in a Ribble Valley field said they feel as though they have “won the lottery”.
Stephen Cocker, 47, and his brother David, 45, were out with their metal detector in Middop when they made the discovery, Clitheroe Coroner’s Court heard.
They found a gold posy ring that would have been used as a wedding ring dating back to the 15th century.
Engraved with flowers and engraved with the French words ‘a ma vie’, which means ‘to my life’, the ring was given as a sign of love.
Speaking in court, Stephen said the brothers had been given permission to scan the land by Middop Hall and farm landowner Jean Parkinson.
He said: “We were out together on the land that we often scan with permission from Jean and we picked up a good clean signal in the soil.
“When we first saw it I thought it was brand new. It looked modern and was sparkly.”
Stephen, an electric engineer from Burnley and Paul, a window cleaner from Colne, took the piece of jewellery to Dot Boughton, Finds Liaison Officer in Preston Museum.
She confirmed that it was medieval and it was then sent to the British Museum for analysis.
Mr Cocker added: “We have been detecting that area since 2004, and have found many metal artefacts, but it never fails to amaze me how the gold always comes up like new.
“When you find something like this it’s like winning the lottery. It could be worth quite a bit.”
The Treasure Act 1996 legally obliges finders of objects which constitute a legally-defined term of treasure to report their find to their local coroner within 14 days.
Speaking from court, coroner Michael Singleton said: “The law says that the ring is treasure and I will now inform the British Museum. They will then determine if they wish to retain the item and compensate you or return it completely to you.”