Anglo-Saxon treasures found on Bicester building site scrap heap

The ‘unusual’ discovery of a brooch over 1,300 years old and found on a building site in Bicester has been declared as treasure.

The Anglo-Saxon brooch, and five other historic finds thought to be from a female grave from the 7th century, was uncovered at the undisclosed site on top of a pile of soil.

A treasure inquest yesterday heard how a member of the public had gone to the already excavated undisclosed site to metal detect.

But while waiting for a friend before starting spotted the collection of Anglo-Saxon object left on the top of a soil heap having already been dug up from the site.

The discovery was made in 2007 at a site which is now a housing development in Bicester, but its significance was not realised until more recently.

The collection comprised of an incomplete hammered sheet copper ‘workbox’, a silver wire ring with ribbed decoration on the band, two green glass beads, a rectangular piece of copper alloy, and a Kentish Composite Disc Brooch found in 21 pieces.

Oxfordshire County Council finds officer Anni Byard said the team were particularly interested to discover the brooch.

She said: “What is interesting about these [type of] brooches is they are Kentish Composite Disc brooches and usually turn up in Kent, but we have had a collection appearing in Oxfordshire.

“This indicates a royal person with a connection between Oxfordshire and Kent in the 7th century.

“There are a couple in the Ashmolean and the Hanney Brooch.”

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