Aldbourne Heritage Centre
Exploring the Village Story



Nov 30

The Mystery Object



The end terminals of the Great Torc

The end terminals of the Great Torc

The announcement from the British Museum on Monday afternoon of the latest finds to be reported through the Portable Antiquities Scheme means that many  of our members can now talk about everything we saw one morning back in 2015.

Some 46 members of ACHG travelled to the British Museum at the end on October 2015 to view the Aldbourne Cup and to hear a lecture from Dr. Neil Wilkin, curator of the European Bronze Age Collection, about its importance and context in the Bronze Age.


The Great Torc in its bed of tissue paper gathers as much interest as the Aldbourne Cup itself.

When we reached the lecture room we were delighted to see the Aldbourne Cup open on the table and excited by the prospect of being able to examine it at such close quarters. An excitement which was fully justified as later on several members were allowed to handle the Cup.

But to fully explain its context in the Bronze Age, Neil Wilkin had also brought several other magnificent objects of similar age.

The Great Torc

The Great Torc

One of the objects was a gigantic torc of pure gold. We were told that it had only been recently found and no announcement had yet been made. We were asked not to photograph it, nor to disclose its nature until it had been made public. A couple of us were able to hold the item and feel its enormous weight (some three-quarters of a kilo!).

Apart from being able to say that we saw something (in Howard Carter’s words)”WONDERFUL”, we have had to remain silent.

We need be silent no more!


If you would like to read more about this amazing piece of Bronze Age gold work, here is the Guardian‘s coverage

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