West Row villagers call for Mildenhall Treasure to be renamed to reflect its origins
A major archaeological find unearthed in a West Row field nearly 70 years ago could be renamed if a campaign is successful.
Villagers are calling for the world-renowned Mildenhall Treasure to be renamed the West Row Treasure to reflect its origins.
The treasure was discovered in a field by a ploughman during World War Two. Comprising 34 pieces of Roman silverware, it is thought to date from the fourth century and is displayed at the British Museum.
Campaigner John Smith, chairman of the West Row shadow committee, said: “We don’t want the Mildenhall Treasure back but we think it has got the wrong name. It is part of our West Row heritage and it was found here.
“This is our village’s identity. It is the Sutton Hoo of West Row.”
An online petition – www.change.org/p/west-row-parish-the-west-row-treasure – calling for the name change has been launched, however so far it has only gained 43 signatures, while MP Matt Hancock has been asked to lobby on the village’s behalf.
West Row will break away from Mildenhall Town Council to form its own parish in May.
“Everybody I have spoken to about the change says the treasure is part of our history, they are very enthusiastic. I think people always thought something like this would be impossible, but getting our own parish makes you realise you can achieve impossible things,” said John.
“It is our treasure and it is from West Row. Its name should reflect that.”
Ruth Bowman, chairman of Mildenhall Town Council – which will become Mildenhall High Town Council when West Row forms its council – said: “West Row’s call to rename the Mildenhall Treasure is certainly an ambitious goal.
"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 because of a boundary change now, but of course it is for West Row to make the case if they feel they have local support for taking action on this.”