13th century crucifix found in Stone village discussed at inquest

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A keen eyed treasure hunter has unearthed a 13th Century crucifix that will now undergo valuation by experts, before interested museums can bid on the item.

Metal detectorist Bruce Kennedy found what appears to be a 13 Century silver crucifix while searching on Mr Mark Woodford’s land in Stone on the February 25 this year.

The crucifix (pictured) is highly decorated with triangular patterns, and features a metal mould of Jesus Christ attached to the piece, who slumps slightly to his right.

A treasure inquest was set up at Beaconsfield coroner’s court on May 26 to determine whether the discovered object was in fact, treasure.

The item has the Omega inscription on the left hand crux, Alpha on the right hand crux and ‘H’ on the bottom part of the cross.

At the treasure inquest, it was said that the cross “was comparable to 14th and 16th Century crucifix, but the closest it could be seen to match was the style of similar pieces from the 13th Century.” It was said to contain 25% silver.

The crucifix is 37.5mm by 25.05 lengthways, and 7.4mm thick, weighing in at 4.988gs.

The Treasure Act 1996 deals with finds of treasure in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

It legally obliges finders of objects which constitute a legally defined term of treasure to report their find to their local coroner within 14 days.

An inquest led by the coroner then determines whether the find constitutes treasure or not. If it is declared to be treasure then the finder must offer the item for sale to a museum at a price set by an independent board of antiquities experts known as the Treasure Valuation Committee. Only if a museum expresses no interest in the item, or is unable to purchase it, can the finder retain it.

In this instance, the crucifix was declared treasure, because under the act treasure is defined as “objects substantially made from gold or silver but are less than 300 years old, that have been deliberately hidden with the intention of recovery and whose owners or heirs are unknown”.Have you ever found buried treasure? Get in touch: Editorial@bucksherald.co.uk