Thousand year old Saxon ring found by detectorist in Sussex fails to find a buyer

Credit: Noonans
Saxon ring found in Sussex Credit: Noonans

A 1,000-year-old ring found by a detectorist in a Sussex field was set to be sold at an auction in London today - but failed to find a buyer.

It was thought the artefact could fetch up to £12,000.

Described as late 10th century Anglo-Saxon gold and enamel, it was discovered in Greatham, near Pulborough in 2021.

Only a handful of rings exist from the period.

It's said to be "in good condition" with experts at Noonans auction house believing it was "hardly worn before being buried".

Peter Pawel, 46, found the Saxon-age jewellery with his metal detector while out digging near Pulborough in 2021. Credit: Noonans

In the Saxon era, Greatham was an agricultural community and named Terra Regis (Land of the King), bordering the Royal hunting forest of Woolmer and the river Arun.

In the Domesday book of 1086, the village was recorded as Gretham, with the manor house owned by Queen Edith, the widow of Edward the Confessor - regarded as the richest woman in England.

She was the daughter of Earl Godwine of Wessex, who was the father of Harold II, whilst her grandfather Wulfnoth Cild was a thegn of Sussex, and descended from King Aethelred I of Wessex.The ring is missing a small portion of the hoop which had been squashed from behind, but now reshaped.

Disclaimed as Treasure under the Portable Antiquities Scheme, it was expected to fetch £8,000 to 12,000.