A POST-MEDIEVAL period silver whistle found in the Whitchurch rural area has been declared treasure by Shropshire’s senior coroner.

John Ellery ruled in four separate treasure inquests on Tuesday, September 5, all relating to finds in the Shropshire countryside and dating as far back as the pre-medieval period between 200-400AD.

The items declared treasure included complete silver whistle dating to the post-medieval period (c.AD 1600-1700) and found in the Whitchurch rural area.

There was also a complete silver verval dating to the post-medieval period (c.AD 1600-1720) and a post-medieval silver dress hook dating to c. AD 1500-1600, which were both uncovered in Stoke on Tern, also in north Shropshire.

In south Shropshire, a Roman gold amulet case dating to the post-medieval period (c. AD 200-400) was found in Pontesbury.

Emma-Kate Lanyon, curator for Shropshire Council's Museum and Archives Service, said: “Whistles like this example are thought to have been used for hunting with dogs or hawks.

Whitchurch Herald:

“Vervals were worn on a falcon’s leg to identify its owner, a bit like a dog tag and these two objects nicely sum up the importance of hunting as a pastime for the wealthy in Tudor and Stuart times.

“Dress hooks were used to fasten outer garments or to drape up skirt either to keep them above the muddy streets or to show off the rich fabric of the underskirt.


They are often made of precious silver and silver-gilt and are highly decorative. Documentary evidence suggests that dress hooks were often owned in pairs, as records exist of them being gifted wills and listed in personal inventories.

“I imagine whoever lost this one was upset – it’s a really lovely example.”

She added: “The Roman gold amulet case is the third example to have been discovered in Shropshire.

“Although nationally a rare find, this example from Pontesbury follows earlier discoveries at Condover and Eaton Constantine.

Whitchurch Herald:

“This is clear evidence that the Roman troops stationed in Shropshire included a group of soldiers recruited from Pannonia, a Roman province situated where western Hungary is today.

“It is fascinating to imagine these men, far from home, wearing this personal reminder of the native culture, homeland and family.”

Shropshire Council added it will be applying for grant aid to help acquire the items to enhance its museum displays and keep them in the public domain.