An extremely rare Anglo-Saxon gold buckle is to be the centrepiece of a new special display at Rutland County Museum.
The buckle, only the fourth gold buckle to have been found in England, will go on show at the Council-run museum on Wednesday October 23, alongside pieces of a copper alloy Coptic bowl.
Both items were unearthed during a metal detecting rally in Rutland in 2016 and date back to the late-6th to early-7th century AD.
The Museum was able to secure the gold buckle and bowl thanks to grants from the following benefactors: V&A Purchase Grant Fund, The Headley Trust, Art Fund, Friends of Rutland County Museum and Oakham Castle, plus the Wulfingas 450-550 Society.
Also found with the buckle and Coptic bowl was a gold pendant. This pendant was purchased by the Friends of Rutland County Museum and Oakham Castle for Rutland County Museum. The pendant will be joining the buckle and bowl in the new display.
Coun Lucy Stephenson, cabinet member for culture and leisure, said: “We’re delighted to be able to put these magnificent artefacts on display for the public in what is a very special year for the Museum. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to all the funders that made this possible and we would like to put on record our thanks.
“The items are absolutely beautiful and provide a fascinating look back into the past, as well as shining new light on the historical significance of our area. We believe the pieces to have come from a very high-status grave, suggesting possible royal associations. We’re sure the special display will prove hugely popular with visitors and hope as many people as possible are able to come and enjoy it.”
To coincide with the launch of the new display, Rutland County Museum will hold an Anglo-Saxon-themed family day on Wednesday October 23.
Rutland County Museum is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary with a series of special exhibitions, including an exploration of education in Rutland through the ages.
For more information about Rutland County Museum and its 50th anniversary celebrations, please visit: rutlandcountymuseum.org.uk.
The Museum is open from 10.00am until 4.00pm on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and entry is free for visitors of all ages.