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West Row 'rebels' campaign to rename Mildenhall Treasure

Villagers in West Row want the 'Mildenhall Treasure' renamed. Credit: ITV News Anglia

In a tiny Suffolk village, a rebellion is brewing - a fierce dispute over Roman silver.

It involves the world-renowned Mildenhall Treasure, which was discovered in the 1940s by a man ploughing a nearby field.

Made up of more than 30 pieces of silverware dating back to the 4th Century, it is regarded as one of the region's finest discoveries and is one of the jewels of the British Museum.

For some of the local residents, though, there is a small problem. It wasn't discovered in Mildenhall.

The silver was actually unearthed in West Row, three miles away.

  • Click below to watch a full report from ITV Anglia's Rob Setchell

And now, among the villagers, the first hushed whispers of rebellion are surfacing as they bid to reclaim the branding of their booty from their larger neighbours.

The row's broken out now because the village is planning to break away to form its own parish council.

The West Row Treasure campaign - which has so far amassed just over 15 online petition signatures - could mean it's a messy split.

"It's quite simple, we'd just like it to be called the West Row Treasure. This is what we are. This is a Roman heritage village and this represents to us something very, very important."

– John Smith, campaigner

In the surrounding communities, rumours still swirl about the treasure.

The story goes that antiques collector Sydney Ford had kept it on his mantlepiece for years before it was spotted.

Some say there could even be more out there.

A replica is kept at Mildenhall Museum, where the local experts insist there's no need to rewrite the history books.

"No, you can't change that and the hundreds - probably thousands - of archaeological publications that mention it. It would make it a nonsense. Are they thinking of changing the name of the airbase as well?"

– Norman Chapman, Mildenhall Museum