Post-medieval silver ring found on farm is ruled as treasure

A SILVER ring found on a farm has been ruled as treasure by a coroner, and traced back to major landowners from the 16th to 18th centuries.

Both sides of a silver hawking ring found by Guy Southwell at Denmead Farm
Both sides of a silver hawking ring found by Guy Southwell at Denmead Farm

Guy Southwell discovered a silver vervel hawking ring while he was metal detecting on Denmead Farm, Edneys Lane, Denmead, on March 10 last year.

The disc-shaped item has a central perforation and dates back to the 1650s-1700s.

Such objects were used to denote the ownership of falcons and were attached to birds legs via jesses.

The rings carried the name or crest of the owner and this item, found near Hambledon, was engraved with the name Edmund Bruning.

The National Archives contain the will of a Mr Edmund Bruning, of Hambledon, and showed his family were major landowners in the parish from the 16th century to the 18th century.

The coroner said it seems that Edmund Bruning is the same Edmund Bruning whose name is on the vervel, and so the item is thought to have belonged to him.

David Horsley, HM Coroner at Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘It’s very rare to have a treasure found that can be associated with a name or a family, and traced back to someone.

‘That’s what makes this a really interesting find.’

Mr Southwell, from Brighton, was metal detecting on Denmead Farm with the permission of landowner My Sykes when he found the item.

The coroner ruled the solid silver item as treasure due to its sufficient age and precious metal content at Portsmouth’s Coroner’s Court.

It is now down to the landowner and finder of the item to decipher the item’s future.