A REPLICA of a globally important iron age artefact from Chiseldon is to be made for display in the village. Funds for the project have come from an anymous donor.

The Chiseldon Cauldrons, found in a field on the village boundary in 2004, are thought to have been ritually buried following a feast marking a great event, possibly the marriage or death of a great leader.

The hoard, which dates back more than 2,000 years, is considered so important that it is being conserved at the British Museum.

The Chiseldon Local History Group started fundraising about a year ago to make a replica of one of the cauldrons, to form part of a display about the artefacts at the Chiseldon Museum, in Butts Road.

Now they have been able to commission Wiltshire bronzesmith and master craftsman Hector Cole to start the work after receiving a £500 donation from a man, who does not want to be named and grew up in the village.

The news comes after the cauldrons featured on BBC archaeology series Digging for Britain, on Friday and Saturday.

Sheila Passmore, the group’s researcher, said: “The originals are in the British Museum being conserved and they’re far too fragile for us to have in the local museum.

“So we are going to have a life-sized replica sitting there on its tripod as it would have gone.

“It’s quite exciting. We have been fundraising towards it, but an anonymous donor has sent us some money to Hector Cole for him to get the materials and get started. We are very excited. He has been down to the British Museum, he has measured up the cauldrons, got all the measurements, working drawings, and he is making a full-sized replica cauldron.

“So that something that happened 2,000 years ago, a local metalsmith making a cauldron, is repeating itself.”

The group had raised about £500 through the sale of copies of a booklet about the find, donations from visitors to the museum, and other activities, such as cake sales and history walks.

She said they are still appealing for another £500 to completely cover the costs of the £1,500 project, but the large donation meant they could commission Mr Cole to start on the year-long work.

Commenting on the donor, Sheila said: “I have helped him with family history and various things. Because he knew I was one of the history group, he had at some time promised a donation for the group.

“I was explaining to him about the cauldrons and he was very enthusiastic. He got in touch with me and said he was sending this substantial donation to Hector Cole to get on with it.”

To donate call Sheila on 01793 740308 or group treasurer Alan Morton on 01793 740407. People can also buy a booklet on the cauldrons, priced at £2.50, or make a donation at Chiseldon Museum on Saturday from 11am to 3pm.