Detectorist, 69, finds medieval ring worth £40,000 in old bowling green

 Detectorist David Board (L) found the ring on dairy farmer Patrick Tolley's kand. (SWNS)
Detectorist David Board (L) found the ring on dairy farmer Patrick Tolley's land. (SWNS)

A medieval ring found by a metal detectorist could fetch up to £40,000 in an auction.

David Board, 69, had only been detecting for three months when he came across the gold and diamond ring near Thorncombe, Dorset, in February 2020.

The band is thought to be a gift from 14th Century aristocrat Sir Thomas Brook to his wife Lady Joan who may have lost it while playing an early form of croquet.

Inside is an inscription in medieval French which when translated reads: “As I hold your faith, hold mine.”

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Andrew Phillips with the 14th century ring. (SWNS)
Andrew Phillips with the 14th-century ring. (SWNS)

Board said he thought the ring was a sweet wrapper when he found it on an old bowling green.

The pensioner said: “It was a really wet day so I washed the mud off and put it in my pocket. I had only been detecting for three months.”

Asked if he has ever found anything like it since, he added: “No, it’s a once in a lifetime find. You won’t find anything like that again.”

Patrick Tolley, 64, the dairy farmer who owns the land where Board found the ring, said the detectorist “came over all excited.”

Board said he hasn’t thought about what he will do with his share of the money after the ring sells and is waiting to see how much it will go for.

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The ring will be sold at the Mayfair auctioneers Noonans later this month.

Noonans consultant Nigel Mills said: “This ring is in almost perfect condition and has an inverted diamond set into the raised bezel so that it comes to a point.

“The hoop is composed of two neatly entwined bands symbolising the union of the couple.”

He added: "It's very likely that she (Lady Brook) was playing an ancestral game of croquet, jeu de mail, that was brought over by the French. That may have been how she lost it."

The gold and diamond ring will go under the hammer on 29 November and another item - a secret silver seal - will be offered on 16 November.

The secret silver seal, found by detectorist Andrew Phillips, 70, in Hertfordshire is valued at £3,000 to £4,000 and is thought to belong to Alice de Turbeville, whose family came to England with William the Conqueror.