To mark the 20th anniversary of the introduction of the Treasure Act in England, Wales and Northern Ireland on 24thSeptember 1996, the British Museum are celebrating a season of treasure and Daventry Museum are participating in ‘Treasure 20’ highlighting treasure finds on display in museums across the country.
This Medieval gold annular brooch found at Ashby St Ledgers in 2009. Inscription reads Ave Maria Gratia in Lombardic script. This is probably the first line of the prayer Ave Maria, Gratia plena, meaning ‘Hail Mary, full of grace’, suggesting it is a devotional object. Many brooches of this style have been recorded as treasure over the years, but very few with this sort of inscription.
As it is gold, it would probably have been owned by the aristocracy, possibly the Cranford family who owned Ashby St Ledgers Manor in the 13th to the 14th century. Emma Cranford became heiress in the 1350s and married John Catesby in 1351 when the Catesby’s became Lords of the Manor for the next 250 years.
Thanks to the Friends of Daventry Museums for purchasing and donating this treasure to the museum in 2010.
Come and see the exhibit Tuesdays to Fridays from 9.30am to 1.30pm and the first Saturday of the month.
To see more details about the brooch please go to the Portable Antiquities Scheme database: https://finds.org.uk/database/artefacts/record/id/249818