An intriguing medieval gold ring, found in nearby Linstead Magna, has just gone on display at Halesworth & District Museum.
Extensive inscriptions on both the outside and the inside of the ring have confounded even the experts at the British Museum. They describe the text as crude, and possibly an imitation of capitalised Roman script. But so far, its meaning remains elusive.
Museum Curator Brian Howard says: ‘We are very excited about the mysterious inscriptions. If anyone has any ideas about the script or what it might mean, please get in touch.’
The Museum has purchased the ring, at a cost of £400, but now needs to recoup that outlay. If you would like to help to support the acquisition of this intriguing artefact, please donate to our Treasures Fund. You can send a cheque to the Museum (payable to Halesworth & District Museum; address, The Railway Station, Station Road, Halesworth IP19 8BZ). Alternatively you can make a bank transfer (Barclays Bank; account name, Halesworth & District Museum; sort code, 20-16-12; account number 13489582). Use the reference LM Ring, so we know what the donation is for. If we exceed the target, excess funds will be used for future treasure purchases, including at least one item from the same local area.
Also new to the Museum this autumn is a display chronicling the terrible events that took place when the self-proclaimed “Witchfinder General” Matthew Hopkins visited Halesworth in 1645. Hopkins’ purge in and around our town resulted in the arrest of eight people – six women and (unusually) two men. They all went to trial in Bury St Edmunds in August 1645, and were found guilty of witchcraft. The records show that four were hanged on 27 August. The fate of the other three remains unknown, although there is evidence that one of the men escaped custody in the confusion of the civil war. The new display is packed with detail on the local victims of Hopkins and the broader picture of the seventeenth century fear of witches.
Find out more about visiting on the Halesworth & District Museum website.