THE Museum has a number of rings on display, including the Worleston Ring. An ancient gold “snake” ring, it was unearthed at Worleston, near Nantwich, by a metal detectorist. It was declared Treasure Trove and later acquired by Nantwich Museum thanks to a bequest and additional donation.
The spiral ring, thought to be unique in Britain, dates from the late Roman or early medieval period. The ring was bought using a bequest from one of the museum’s former volunteer workers, Betty Goodwin, which was substantially increased by her family to cover the full asking price. An expert at the British museum said there appeared to be no close British parallel to the ring although it is similar to a Roman ring found at Hadrian’s Wall. While spiral gold rings are not uncommon in Scandinavia, and are dated from around AD 200 – 600, they are generally plain. The Worleston Ring is decorated with triangular punch marks and the British Museum says it can’t therefore be described as typically Scandinavian.
What is not in question is that had Nantwich Museum not managed to buy the ring the British Museum would have attempted to do so, such is the interest in it.
The former curator of Nantwich Museum, Susan Pritchard, said at the time of its acquisition: “We are thrilled to have been able to acquire this fine piece of ancient jewellery. It’s a very delicate ring which could only have been worn by someone with very slender fingers and it’s fascinating to wonder who that person might have been.”
The ring was discovered by treasure hunter David Beckett who lives near Crewe.
The Goodwin family were guests at a reception to mark the opening of the Nantwich Treasures exhibition – where the ring was a central attraction – in February 2005.