Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

Gold Ring Discovered by a Farmer

This resource is part of the Museum Snapshot collection - a collection of smaller resources perfect for starters, plenaries or spare moments to explore something fascinating.


Resource created by Dales Countryside Museum

Perfectly preserved gold ring with two bands of gold printed with a triangle design
Gold Viking Ring

This ring was discovered by a farmer digging a drainage ditch in Sedburgh. Surface metal analysis conducted at the British Museum indicated an approximate gold content for the ring of 83-86%, a silver content of 11-14%, and a copper content of 2-4%. The ring would therefore qualify as Treasure under two of the stipulated criteria of the Treasure Act: it is more than 300 years old and the precious metal content exceeds 10%.

A distinctive type of coiled silver arm-ring made in Ireland in the late 9th/early 10th Centuries was developed from a simpler Viking type, and is similar to two other Viking gold rings in the British Museum (from Saddleworth Moor and Ireland). 

Listen to the story of how the ring was discovered using original recording of Mr Airy - the farmer who discovered the ring.


Discussion Ideas

  • How did the ring end up in a field?
  • Who did it belong to?
  • Was it lost, buried for safe keeping or was it part of someone’s funeral goods?

Activity Ideas

  • Story telling through creative writing, drama or animation

Watch this animation about the farmer discovering the Viking ring in his field. It was made by 2nd year student teachers during their SOTS (Settings Other Than Schools) week at the Dales Countryside Museum.

  • Write about discovering your own buried treasure.
  • Write about something you have today, that people might think of as treasure in 200 years time.
  • Write a newspaper article describing how the treasure was found.