Leekfrith
These Leekfrith Iron Age torcs are to go on display at Stoke-on-Trent’s Potteries Museum & Art Gallery. Image by Staffordshire County Council.

The group, comprising four torcs (distinctive twisted neck ornaments) and a bracelet, could date back to 400BC. They were found on farmland in Leekfrith, north Staffordshire, last year by two metal detectorists.

Thought to be the earliest example of Iron Age gold ever discovered in Britain, the artefacts are believed to have been made in continental Europe, perhaps in France or Germany.

Dubbed the ‘Leekfrith Iron Age Torcs’, fundraising began in September and grants came from a variety of sources, such as £165,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) and £80,000 from Art Fund.

The museum celebrated its acquisition with a ceremony yesterday.

Metal detectorists Mark Hambleton and Joe Kania found the objects and handed them over to the Portable Antiquities Scheme at Birmingham Museums which manages the voluntary recording of finds. Hambleton and Kania, had permission from the landowner, the Heath family, to search on the land, and will split any proceeds from the sale of the find with them.