It’s war! Row erupts between two Suffolk villages over the naming of one of the biggest Roman treasure hoards of all time that was discovered in the UK by a man ploughing a field in the 1940s
- Mildenhall Treasure is kept at the British Museum due to its historical importance
- But neighbouring village of West Row claims it originates from there instead
- Made up of 30 bits of silverware that date back from 4th century AD
A row has broken out between two warring Suffolk villages over the name of one of the biggest Roman treasure hoards of all time.
The world-renowned Mildenhall Treasure was discovered in the 1940s by a man ploughing a field in East Anglia.
It is made up of more than 30 pieces of silverware dating back to the 4th century AD and is kept safely inside the British Museum.
But residents of the nearby village of West Row claim the artifacts originate from where they live three miles away and should be renamed.
One even launched a petition calling on the British Museum to reconsider the name.
A row has broken out between the warring Suffolk villages of Mildenhall and West Row over the name of a treasure hoard that dates back to the 4th century AD
The Mildenhall Treasure includes some of the most valuable Roman objects artistically and by weight of bullion in Britain.
Among the items are a Great Dish, which depicts a myth of Bacchus and 1st 3lb.
The collection also includes two pedestalled dishes, five round-bowled ladles or spoons, a flat serving platter with a diameter of 556mm and a deep fluted bowl with two small swing handles.
The campaign comes after West Row broke away and created its own parish council separate from Mildenhall, with residents keen to reinforce their independence by renaming the treasure.
Campaigner John Smith, said: ‘It is not about the treasure, it is about our independence.
‘There is no mention of West Row in the British Museum. We don’t want it back, we just want it to be recognised as ours.’
Mr Smith added that changing the name to West Row Treasure could attract tourists to the area.
It is made up of more than 30 pieces of silverware dating back to the 4th century AD and is kept safely inside the British Museum
He continued: ‘If the British Museum called it (West Row Treasure) or said it was found in West Row, that would suffice.
‘The museum has been dismissive about it and they still call it the Mildenhall Treasure. We would like to do a public campaign to set this right.
‘It’s quite simple, we’d just like it to be called the West Row Treasure. This is what we are.
‘This is a Roman heritage village and this represents to us something very, very important.’
But Ruth Bowman, from Mildenhall High Town Council, said that West Row’s proposal was ‘ambitious.’
The Mildenhall Treasure includes some of the most valuable Roman objects artistically and by weight of bullion in Britain
She added: ‘No one locally would dispute where it was discovered but given the original designation more than 70 years ago it seems unlikely history will be rewritten.’
Norma Chapman, Trustee at the Mildenhall Museum, blasted Councillor Smith’s comments and said: ‘No, you can’t change that and the hundreds – probably thousands – of archaeological publications that mention it.
‘It would make it a nonsense. Are they thinking of changing the name of the airbase as well?’
The Mildenhall treasure contains pieces that undoubtedly belong to the first rank of Roman art and craftsmanship recognised on an international scale of excellence.
The British Museum has been contacted for comment.