A Medieval Gold Stirrup Ring

English, 14th Century


Its slender and elegantly proportioned yellow gold arch gently rising towards a cabochon turquoise, which has a small  antique chip. The patina of he ring giving  it a rich buttery colour, typical of gold which has been buried for centuries


Discovered by a metal detectorist in the parish of Stoulton, Worcestershire in the late 1980’s. The ring was declared in 2016, given treasure case number: 2016T144 and recorded on the Portable Antiquities Scheme as WAW-0C237F.

Exterior Length: 21.22mm
Exterior Width: 19.68mm
Thickness: 2.55mm
Interior Length: 18.2mm
Interior Width: 17.84mm
Weight: 1.2g.


The term ‘Stirrup’ is a misnomer used by nineteenth century antiquarians to describe the shape of this type of ring. It has recently been observed they mimic forms found in medieval and particularly Norman architecture. The ring follows the shape of a Norman stone arch.

Close parallels to this example recorded on the portable antiquities scheme include: CAM-71FF34 (2015 T174), GLO-F42F0B (2017 T973), DENO-E5352D (2015 T532), BH-74051C (2014 T872), KENT-46F827 (2012 T262), GLO-9A5577 (2010 T40) and SF-89B470 (2007 T233).

These finger ring were popular in the 13th century; however the date range can stretch from c.1150 to c.1500 (Egan and Pritchard, 2002:326).