A BROOCH from the 14th Century has been discovered in a village near Winchester.

The golden ring-shaped item of treasure was retrieved by Waltham Chase metal detectorist Geoff Slingsby back in August 2018.

He had been searching in farmland at Hursley. Mr Slingsby described the 35mm-long brooch as a "cracking bit of kit" at an inquest on October 22.

He said: "I've been detecting in that area for several years. I found the brooch on ploughed land.

"It's a cracking bit of kit, and it should be in a museum. It's the people's object."

The words written on the brooch have been translated by a member of staff at the British Museum. They are thought to say something similar to: "May love God protect me".

Senior coroner Grahame Short declared the item as treasure under the Treasure Act of 1996. It will now go for valuation at the British Museum.

The earliest references to Hursley as a settlement date from the late 12th century.

Bishop of Winchester Henry de Blois built a manor house called Merdon Castle within the parish in 1138.

Hursley continued in the ownership of the Bishop of Winchester until 1552 when it was surrendered to King Edward VI.

The buildings had become ruinous by the 16th century, when Edward Vl granted the manor and park at Hursley to Sir Philip Hoby.

Some remains, notably of a gatehouse, still stand, much overgrown, and are listed as a building at risk.

The Hoby family sold the manor and castle to Thomas Clerke in 1600. The lodge and park at Hursley were leased separately at this time, but the two estates were brought together again in 1630 and sold in 1639 to Richard Major, High Sheriff of Hampshire.