HISTORY fans have just two more weeks to see stunning medieval artefacts recently acquired by Swindon Museum and Art Gallery.

The Bath Road museum acquired two finger rings and a seal matrix, used for stamping the wax that would have sealed a letter, last year.

The precious objects, which are all made of either gold or silver, were discovered by metal detectorists in Chiseldon and Hannington in 2014.

The artefacts were declared ‘treasure’ and finally came back to Swindon in 2016. They will be on display in Swindon Museum’s archaeology gallery for just two more weeks before returning to the vaults.

Stef Vincent, collections project manager at Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, said that the items had been impossible to date precisely – but that they were thought to range from the 15th to the 17th centuries.

“The silver seal matrix is quite interesting,” said Stef. ”it’s not a bespoke item – like you’d expect.

“It’s not been mass produced, but it would have been made generically. We just have no idea who it belonged to.”

Stef added of the silver artefact, which boasts a lion rampant design: “It’s about the same weight and size as a memory stick.”

Also among the three items that came to the museum is a late-medieval silver ring – discovered by a metal detectorist in Chiseldon in 2014.

“This one’s also quite cool,” Stef said. “It has three figures depicted on it. We think they’re possibly saints, by their look. There are typical ways that religious figures are depicted. Ours look quite sombre.”

Museum staff will be refreshing their archaeology display in the next fortnight, marking this year’s Festival of Archaeology – which starts next week.

Among the items going on display for the Archaeology Festival will be a tiny metal axe head, dating back thousands of years.

“Nobody knows exactly what it’s for,” said Stef.

Some believe that the axe head, which is no bigger than a packet of chewing gum, could have been a religious object.

But, said Stef: “It’s a mystery.”

Swindon Museum and Art Gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am – 5pm. For more, visit: www.swindonmuseumandartgallery.org.uk.