Bronze Age gold bracelet and East Cambridgeshire Gold Torc

Theft at Ely Museum

Theft at Ely Museum

In the early hours of Tuesday 7 May 2024, Ely Museum was broken into. Thieves stole the East Cambridgeshire gold torc and a gold bracelet, both dating from the Bronze Age. The museum acquired the torc in 2017 with a series of grants and donations from the public. The police are currently investigating the theft.

Elie Hughes, Curator at Ely Museum says:

“We are devastated by the loss to the museum and to the local heritage of the region. It is a huge blow after the incredible support from the community in acquiring the torc in 2017. As a culturally significant object, it cannot be replaced. Our priority now is working with the police to locate the stolen objects.” Elie Hughes, Museum Curator

Found in East Cambridgeshire by a metal detectorist, the torc is regarded as the best to be found in England in more than a century. It is much larger than usual examples and is made of 730g of almost pure gold. The find was made in a ploughed field in East Cambridgeshire and was reported to the local Finds Liaison Officer. The gold bracelet is about 3000 years old. It was found in 2011 in East Cambridgeshire by a metal detectorist.

The museum is working with the police. If you have any information regarding this, please do contact the police through their web chat service quoting Operation Lacunar or call them on 101 if you do not have internet access. If you would like to report information anonymously you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Detective Inspector Kiri Mazur said she was looking for two suspects on e-scooters who are believed to be involved in the burglary.

She said: “The theft of these items is despicable, and we are focused on identifying the offenders, tracing the items, and returning them to their rightful place. We are working closely with staff at Ely Museum to follow all lines of enquiry.”

“I am very keen to hear from anyone who may be able to provide information or saw two people on e-scooters who were in the vicinity of the museum, car park and pedestrian walkways at the back of the museum, the council offices and the Grange Car Park, between 12am and 2am on (Tuesday 7 May).”

Staff and Trustees have been enormously touched and heartened by the messages that we have received from people expressing their shock and sadness. We are grateful to everyone that has reached out to support the museum and our staff at this difficult time and we would like to thank you all. The museum is now open again and we look forward to welcoming you back.