All torc, torc, torc...

Most of us have heard of the Great Torc of Snettisham. Did you know that Snettisham is the next parish south of Sedgeford? And that Sedgeford has its own torc?


The Sedgeford torc was found in 1965 by a farmer who was harrowing a field when his equipment was snagged and brought to a stop with a clatter. Lo and behold, he found an ancient gold torc twisted up in the machinery.


Made of gold and silver alloy wire 'rope', the torc was beautiful despite its damaged state, but it had only one terminal: the other had presumably been wrenched off when it was dragged up from its hiding place in the soil.


The Sedgeford torc, found 1965

The Sedgeford torc, view of the extant terminal

The Sedgeford torc ended up in the British Museum, where it remains. But where was the other terminal?


The answer to this question remained a mystery for almost 40 years.


Fast forward to 2004, and Steve Hammond is doing some metal-detecting in the same field during the annual SHARP Easter week field-walking ahead of season 9. He gets a strong signal. What does he find? None other than the missing terminal.



You can probably imagine the joy and rapture that this find created, and which it still inspires. The torc terminal, exquisite and perfect, was obsessively examined and photographed by SHARP members before it, too, went through the Treasure process and was reunited with the rest of this beautiful object at the British Museum.


Here are a few photos, including detailed views of the terminal decoration. You can see that it matches the other terminal exactly, and represents the work of a master artisan.