Iron Age Torc Acquired For Nottinghamshire Museum

By 24 Hour Museum Staff | 04 January 2006
photo of a gold torc necklace made from thin twisted ropes of metal bent into a collar

The Newark Torc. Courtesy NHMF

A beautiful and rare 2,000-year-old gold choker has been acquired by Newark and Sherwood Museums Service, Nottinghamshire, with help from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF).

The neckpiece, known as the Newark Torc, was bought for £350,000, including a grant of £285,000 from the NHMF.

Dating from between 200 and 50BC, the torc is an exceptional piece of craftsmanship and is one of the finest examples of Celtic jewellery ever recovered in the UK. It is formed from ropes of a deep yellow gold alloy (made from gold, silver and copper), shaped into a collar with two decorated rings at either end. It would have been worn by a man or woman of high status as a symbol of power.

“The discovery of the Newark Torc is not only one of the most exquisite examples of British craftsmanship from the pre-Roman era but also one which challenges our understanding of Iron Age communities,” said Councillor Tony Roberts, Leader of Newark and Sherwood Council.

“Newark and Sherwood is home to much of the nation’s history, from Robin Hood to the Civil War and we are delighted that the District Council has been able to secure this exceptional and rare item for the future.”

The torc came from a ceremonial burial in a pit near Newark, Nottinghamshire, but its location has been kept secret. It was discovered by a metal detectorist and declared Treasure in 2005.

“This piece of jewellery is an outstanding example of Iron Age craftsmanship,” said Stephen Johnson, Head of the NHMF.

“This National Heritage Memorial Fund grant will ensure that this very special part of our heritage is put on display where people can enjoy it for many years to come.”

The torc is held at Millgate Museum, Newark.

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