A MEDIEVAL silver gilt brooch found in a north Hampshire field has been declared treasure by a coroner.

The jewellery, which could be from the 13th century, was found in a field near Hook. It has a circular frame with four bosses and one lozenge, and is thought to be worth hundreds of pounds.

North East Hampshire coroner Andrew Bradley ruled, at an inquest held at Basingstoke and Deane’s Civic Offices, that the brooch was treasure.

The find has now been handed over to the British Museum for valuation, under the Treasure Act of 1996.

It will be offered, for a price, to the Hampshire Museums Service to go on display in the county.

Kay Ainsworth, keeper of archaeology at the trust, said: “We have a number of medieval brooches and nearly all of them are individual. Most are worth a couple of hundred pounds.

“It’s of a particular style that you get in that period. It’s a delightful little brooch and certainly we would like to buy it if we can afford it.”

At the inquest, Mr Bradley said a man with a metal detector found the piece in February 2008.

Thinking it was valuable, he handed it over to the British Museum, where James Robinson, curator of medieval collections, appraised it.

In a report, he stated the brooch dates from the late 13th or early 14th century. He said the decorative bosses have lost their detail over time, and that a second lozenge on the brooch has been lost.

Neither the finder of the brooch, nor the owner of the land where the brooch was found, attended the treasure trove inquest.

Mr Bradley said: “I will find in the absence of representation to the contrary that it is treasure because it complies with all the requirements.

“It’s now forfeited to the Crown. The finder and/or landowner will be compensated to the value of it.”