A metal dectorist discovered a 400-year-old gold ring worth up to £30,00 in the grounds of Paul Hollywood’s £1.4 million former home.
Now the residence of the The Great British Bake Off star’s wife, Alex, the property unearthed a number of treasures when explored by Mark Presland.
The griffin ring, a D-shaped golden ring emblazoned with a griffin (the legendary creature with the head and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion) has officially been declared treasure by a coroner.
This is because it contains 10 per cent precious metal content and is more than 300 years old.
Mr Presland found the coin when he was exploring the grounds of the property in Adisham, near Canterbury, Kent, with Mrs Hollywood’s permission in March this year.
Once he had brushed the earth away, the keen detectorist saw the treasure he had discovered in its full glory for the first time.
“The gold signet ring has a griffin motif on it which I believe represents strength, so it may well have been given to a young man on his coming of age as a present,” he said.
“It obviously wouldn’t have been a cheap item to purchase in those days. It’s a very beautiful item and remarkably in very good condition despite the fact that it’s been within the plough soil for nigh-on 450 years. It’s remarkable.”
Although the history of the relic cannot be known for certain, Mr Presland believes the circumstances of the find make it more likely it was lost rather than hidden or taken by force.
He said: “It’s more than likely that it was a random loss, and slipped off somebody’s finger 450 years ago when they were out, doing whatever they were doing outside.”
Mr Presland, who runs Manor Wines in the village, says a local museum is looking to buy the griffin ring, but he is keeping which one under wraps for now.
If the museum goes ahead with the purchase, the money paid will be split 50/50 between the finder and the landowner, Alex Hollywood, as a reward.
The result of the official evaluation has not yet been released but gold signet rings from the same period are available to purchase from auctioneers for between £10,000 and £30,000.
”I’m hoping for it to be on public display, that is what would be great,” Mr Presland said. “It’s always nice to have some recognition but ultimately if it stays in the local area and people can come and look at it and enjoy seeing it.”
Alex Hollywood declined to comment on the piece of history that was discovered on her land.
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