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Historic ring to feature at Highland exhibition

Scott Lindsay of Groam House Museum admiring the posy ring.
Scott Lindsay of Groam House Museum admiring the posy ring.

A gold ring made in the 1600s is to go on display in the Highlands as part of an exhibition showcasing the relics discovered across the Black Isle.

The small gold ring, depicting the inscription ‘where lyfe is true’, will form the centre piece for Groam House Museum’s ‘Found in the Ground’ spring exhibition  in Rosemarkie after being discovered in a field close to Fortrose.

The historic object will go on display from now until May 10 alongside a multitude of interesting artefacts including mediaeval brooches and buckles, seals and small weights, prehistoric pottery and flints, as well as more recent buttons, ceramics and military items in an effort to give local residents an idea of the huge range of artefacts which have lain uncovered for centuries.

Jill Harden, the creator of the exhibition said: “It’s an opportunity to show some of Groam’s items that have come up over the last five years and particularly to celebrate the fact that last year someone found a wee gold ring that dates to the 1600s and it’s beautiful. It’s got an inscription around the inside and its 350 years old and it’s a declaration of either friendship or love.

“It’s a lovely piece buts it so tiny – it’s a woman’s ring and its really small – so rather than just putting that on display by itself, we thought it would be a good idea to put out all sorts of things that have been found in the area over the last few years.”

The gold posy ring discovered in a filed in Rosemarkie last year.

The ring is traditionally called a ‘posy’ ring and comes from the French word ‘poésie’ meaning a poem. This refers to the short sayings which are commonly engraved on the inside of each ring. The words can commonly be religious, friendly or amorous.

For more than a decade, a series of excavations, metal-detecting and archaeological field-walking have been taking place across the Black Isle, recovering various pieces of information from beneath and in the soil.

Each object on show reflects the significant of the medieval burghs of Fortrose, Ormond Castle near Avoch, the earlier Pictish religious centre at Rosemarkie, and their prehistoric pasts.

Miss Harden spoke of the importance of keeping in touch with the heritage which surrounds us.

She added: “Understanding our past and finding out more about it, just being inquisitive and finding out more, it adds to the meaning of life and wellbeing and everything else.”

The museum will be open from 11am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday and 2pm until 4.30pm at weekends.

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