FINDS from the metal-detecting community are helping Jersey Museum to better understand the Island’s history.
The collection of objects, which are now on display at the museum, includes finds dating from between the 8th century and the 11th century, as well as a refurbished relic from the English Civil War.
Other finds include an 11th century Anglo-Scandinavian stirrup mount engraved with late Viking art depicting a pair of interlocking dragons, a series of 11th-century brooches originating from across northern Europe and likely traded at the end of the Viking Age, and an 8th to 9th century Frankish strap fitting with enamel decoration.
Jersey Heritage’s finds liaison officer Perry Mesney, who has been responsible for collecting and recording the treasures, said: ‘It really changes the way we thought about Jersey’s history… We have so much more information about Jersey during this period… It’s really shot us forward.’
The 11th century was a turbulent time in British history, with Britain coming under the rule of Danish kings such as Canute as part of the North Sea Empire, and eventually falling prey to the Norman Conquest. As Mr Mesney said: ‘It’s all kicking off.’
He added: ‘Jersey was a lot more connected at the time than we thought. There was an assumption that Jersey was a backwater, with nothing really happening… I’m not saying we were the centre of the world, but we had some kind of involvement, there were people here.’
One of the other finds on display is a 17th century wheel-lock pistol, an extravagant item that would have been carried by an officer or wealthy person around the time of the English Civil War.
It was found by detectorists in 2017 around St Aubin’s Fort, and the suspicions are that it might have been dropped during a battle, or lost when the owner was climbing into a boat.
Mr Mesney said: ‘It was great for someone to report it as, if it didn’t get immediate attention, the iron would have just turned to dust.’
He said he was extremely thankful to all the people who reported their finds to him. ‘Without them we wouldn’t have any of this stuff. Without them it would be lost forever.’