Metal detecting enthusiast has discovered a rare 15th century gold ring

  • last year
A metal detecting enthusiast has said he feels 'privileged' to have discovered a 15th century gold ring described as a 'very rare find for the UK.'

Matthew Hepworth, 48, discovered the jewellery when he had been searching a field and heard a faint signal on his metal detector.

He then found a rare, gold iconographic ring that has a drawing of the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus on it, believed to be from the 1400s.

Matthew has reported the ring to the landowner and the find liaison officer and the ring will eventually be the subject of an inquest to confirm if it is treasure.

Although he doesn't know the exact value of the ring, he believes it is a very rare find for the UK.

Matthew said: "It means so much to me that a piece of history has been salvaged from the ground.

"It's a privilege for me to have been able to have found it and save it.

"It was a big surprise when I found it and then I let the landowner know and he was gobsmacked and couldn't believe it.

"It's a very rare find for the UK I would say. There has been a few found but not that many."

Matthew donated a rare silver seal depicting a slave to Lancaster Maritime Museum which he found last year and he discovered a Bronze Age burial site in 2016.

And he added that when he visits the museum, it's a 'lovely feeling' to know that something he discovered is there.

Matthew, a charge nurse, said: "It just tops everything really, it's a lovely feeling to know that you've found something.

"It also promotes the hobby and shows what responsible metal detecting can achieve.

"It's nice to see your name against what you've found and it will be there forever for future generations to enjoy."

The married dad-of-two has been metal detecting for 32 years and says he enjoys it because 'it's nice to do and to help find our heritage.'

Matthew, of Morecambe, Lancs, said: "I like to search pieces of land with permission from the landowner.

"I like looking at the local landscape and then the local history of the area.

"You can find items in the middle of nowhere sometimes and it's nice to get out in the fresh air.

"It can be very rewarding but the majority of times you go out and you don't find a lot but you know you've had fun really.

"It's just been a good hobby for me over the years and I've had a lot of pleasure out of it.

"It's an active pastime that keeps me fit and keeps my mind healthy because I'm out in the countryside and in the fresh air with nice scenery.

"It's just nice to do and to help find our heritage."