I grew up in a small market town in North Wales. A small, quiet, fairly rural town with an animal market and a street market. It is beautiful.
You probably haven’t heard of Mold. But you may have heard of one of its more famous discoveries; The Gold Cape.
In 1833, some workmen who were quarrying for stone in a field called Bryn Y Ellyllon (Fairies’ – or Goblins’ – Hill) found a ceremonial gold cape in an ancient burial mound. There, in a stone lined grave, was a crushed gold cape around the fragmented skeleton remains.
It is one of the finest examples of prehistoric gold working and was beaten from a single golf-ball sized ingot, designed to look like draped fabric adorned with beads.
Markings inside indicate it would have been lined, presumably with leather, which has since perished. Experts think it would have been unsuitable for everyday wear as it would have seriously impacted on upper arm movement and would have been worn in ceremonial roles and possibly symbolised religious authority.
During removal from the mound, the delicate cape broke up and fragments were handed out to the workmen and it is said that the wives of the men were seen with flamboyant jewellery in the following weeks and months.
Three years after its discovery, The British Museum in London obtained the larger pieces of the cape and over the years several fragments have been recovered and reconciled.
Although there is a replica cape on view in the Mold Heritage Centre, the beautiful original is still on display in London to this day.