Ely Museum unveils long lost prehistoric treasure found in Cambridgeshire

On Saturday 7 October, Ely Museum will reveal the latest edition to its permanent collection in the form of one of the largest gold torcs that have been found in Britain - discovered in East Cambridgeshire.

The anonymous finder reported the item to Cambridgeshire County Council’s Coroner Service, which is required by law. Finds like this fall under the Treasure Act of 1996. The significant find, which is also one of the longest ever discovered, was handed to the Council’s Archaeology Officer who sent it to the British Museum to be looked at by experts.

It was found to originate from the Middle Bronze Age before the Iron Age and Roman eras. Traditionally, they were known to be worn as a symbol of high status. The East Cambridgeshire Torc as it is now known weighs 732 grams, making it one of the heaviest of its type. 

Gold torc found in East Cambridgeshire

Gold torc found in East Cambridgeshire

An inquest was held last summer where it was decided that the Torc was an official item of treasure and Ely Museum worked to raise the £220,000 that the item was valued at, to present as a reward to the finder and owner of the land.

Cllr Ian Bates, Chairman of the Economy and Environment Committee said: “We are delighted to see this treasure find handed over to the Ely Museum where it will be available for all of the public to see. It’s fascinating that something of this significance has been discovered in our county, it opens up doors to many possibilities of what this item could have been used for by our Bronze Age ancestors.”

Ely Museum has been successful in raising the £220,000 through the generosity of the Art Fund and National Heritage Memorial Fund and many private donations. The finder and landowner have now received their rewards.  

The East Cambridgeshire Torc will be available for public viewing from this Saturday (7 October) where there will also be a range of crafts and activities for all the family to enjoy.

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