Knot found in hoard jewels

Archaeologists have discovered a Staffordshire Knot symbol among the treasures of the Staffordshire Hoard, making the county sign 500 years older than previously thought.

WD3453404@HOARD KNOTArchaeologists have discovered a Staffordshire Knot symbol among the treasures of the Staffordshire Hoard, making the county sign 500 years older than previously thought.

The discovery comes as it emerged a National Lottery bid is being put together to keep the Hoard in the region.

Images of the knot were found on a gold artefact, not previously displayed, that was dug up from a field near Brownhills this summer.

The symbol was believed to originate from the 11th century, but the gold artefact dates back to at least the sixth century.

The discovery will add more weight to calls to keep the Staffordshire Hoard in the region – and it emerged today that a National Lottery bid may centre on plans to create an exhibition at Shugborough or the County Buildings in Stafford.

Staffordshire County Council is putting together the bid to keep the Hoard, which would become a world-class tourist attraction. Council leader Councillor Philip Atkins said: “The Staffordshire knot found on one of the items was 500 years older than the oldest known use of the county symbol.”

The council has just chosen to use the knot in its logo in a re-branding exercise. The knot may have originated as a heraldic device for the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia.

The find of more than 1,500 gold and silver objects by metal detectorist Terry Herbert from Burntwood was the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found and is expected to be valued at more than £1 million. It is now at the British Museum to be valued.

A temporary display of some objects from the hoard is due to open in the British Museum on November 3 following the recent exhibition at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.

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Comments for: "Knot found in hoard jewels"

antony j

keep it local.

Arthur Fowler

The hoard should knot be put on show in some poncy London museum. Keep it near where it was found I say.


I agree with the previous two comments.

If a new museum is to be built it should be in Brownhills/Walsall and not in Stafford/ Shugborough.

Walsall Art Gallery is the nearest sufficiently secure location, just five miles from the findspot, for it to be displayed until a new home is built.

Why is Birmingham currently getting all the economic benefits of increased tourism from displaying OUR cultural heritage?

PS the Staffordshire Knot is probably Celtic in origin, during the 6th Century what is now Staffordshire formed part of the Welsh kingdom of Pengwern, and it seems to date from at the latest this period. Knots are highly significant in Celtic British art.

baggie 9

Why not use the Public building in Westbromwich.The lottery and art paid for the building.



On what basis should it be kept in Brownhills/Walsall and not Stafford/Shrugborough?

It was found within Staffordshire boundaries.

Baggie 9

Put them in the Public buiding in Westbromwich.Central to every one and a good use of the building.



Because Walsall is within 5 miles and already has a major international gallery, Stafford is 15 miles away and does not.

It was found literally yards from the boundary, a false boundary really as Walsall is in the real county of Staffordshire and remains the main centre for south east Staffs. The correct address of the field where it was found is 'Walsall WS7'.

If a new building is to be constructed then Brownhills is the closest non-greenbelt location, where the hoard can be appreciated in its immediate context, and Walsall is the nearest place with regional bus and rail links. Is Shugborough even on a bus route?

Staffordshire is a red herring anyway - it did not exist until the 10th Century and the hoard was actually deposited in either Mercia (ruled from Tamworth) or Pengwern (centred on Wroxeter), such a post-dated and arbitrary definition of whose heritage it is could be extended to the WS post-code area.

Grey Wolf

West Bromwich is 'central to everyone'. That's priceless. I about fell off my chair laughing.


Baggie9 which part of walsall/staffordshire is West Brom. Nobody is going to bother to go to that waste of money in West Brom so ther is no point putting it there!!

I am not overly sure that where the gold was found is burntwood, it is more Brownhills to me as it was found Brownhills side of the A5/toll road to be honest!! It is very close to staffordshire/west midlands border. It certainly most isn't definately 'within the border fo staffs'

Chris B

Close inspection shows that the decoration on the Anglo-Saxon piece is made up of standard interlace, common throughout the country at the time, and there's no complete example of the 'Stafford knot'. The latter seems to have been a heraldic emblem dating to the 15th century or the 16th, associated with the Stafford family. The Lichfield/Wall area was important in the first millennium; rather than Stafford, or even Birmingham, Lichfield would be a good location for its transport links as well as for its history; the Anglo-Saxon 'Lichfield Angel' has recently been returned for display in the Cathedral.


It's not a Staffordshire Knot, it's a fairly common piece of "celtic" interlace. Staffordshire didn't exist in the 7th century so if you're going to call it anything, this is a Mercian knot.

The hoard was found just yards over the Staffordshire boarder (possible where it cuts back into West Mids on Lichfield Road), so places like Stafford and the potteries have no claim over it.

Birmingham will eventually get it because they the facilities and the security to exhibit it (and even they don't have the space to exhibit all of it). Chances are there will be several portable exhibitions that will move around the country, so you'll all get a chance to see it.

Funny isn't it, a month ago no one was interested in Anglo-Saxon history, now you're all falling over each other the get a piece of it.

Chris B

Interlace was a common decoration on Anglo-Saxon as well as Celtic artefacts. (The most 'Celtic' feature of the hoard is likely to be the millefiori chequered roundel - this technique is most often found on Anglo-Saxon 'hanging bowls', which some experts believe were commissioned from British craftsmen.) The person who deposited the hoard was probably travelling on 'Watling Street', the major Roman road from London to the west of England, which continued in use, and so the origin of the hoard may never be linked to any particular community. There was no heraldry as we know it in the Anglo-Saxon period - an army might follow a standard, with perhaps something like a boar or dragon emblem - but the possibility is infinitesimal that a section of interlace bears anything but a chance resemblance to a much, much later motif. Incidentally, Lichfield also has an Anglo-Saxon Gospel book, important partly because it is annotated in the earliest surviving written Welsh. Maybe it should be returned to Wales. (And the Staffordshire/West Midlands border has existed only since the 1970s; it too is irrelevant in the longer term.)


Its just a pretzel...Next thing you know someone will bring up a watery tart and a sword...


There's no way staffs council should get their grubby mits on it! They have a habit of 'loosing' things.... They even managed to 'loose' and entire pub!!!!!

The White Lion in Stafford was pulled down brick by brick about 30 years ago and 'put into storage' to be rebuilt when a suitable location was found........ somehow the entire building was 'mislaid'............ come on!!!