3,000 year-old bracelet found in Tyrone field

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Farmer Gary Sproule accidentally unearthed the precious artefact while ploughing over a field at Castlegore near Castlederg last April. The intricate item is believed to date from almost 1,000 years before the birth of Christ.

An inquest was held yesterday in Belfast at which the item, which would have belonged to an important warrior or priest, was officially classified as treasure.

Under the law, a ‘treasure trove’ inquest must be held by the coroner to determine the significance of such finds. The finder of the item, as well as the landowner, are often then entitled to a discretionary reward.

According to the National Museum of Ireland, a similar piece dating between 900-700BC was found around 300 years ago in Killymoon, Co Tyrone, although unlike the find at Killymoon, which was a plain design, this recent discovery is highly decorative.

The Coroner also ruled yesterday that a separate find of a gold Bronze Age purse or ‘bulla’ should be considered a treasure.

The item, which is around the size of a 50 pence piece and dates from 950 to 800 BC, was discovered by Bangor man Glen McCamley, using a metal detector on land belonging to farmer John Kennedy at Inch in Downpatrick.

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