Treasure hunters have discovered a thimble used by seamstresses in Pembrokeshire more than four centuries ago.

The post medieval silver thimble was discovered by Robert Edwards while metal detecting in a field in the Carew area in November 2020.

The treasure was found between one and two inches under the soil.

The find was first handed in to Mark Lodwick, finds co-ordinator for the Portable Antiquities Scheme in Wales (PAS Cymru), before being deposited with expert Amgueddfa Cymru curators at National Museum Cardiff for identification and reporting.

The thimble is tall, narrow but heavy. It has a two-piece construction, with the rounded top soldered to the main body.

Six transverse bands are set in a zig-zag pattern around the body, layered over an incised brickwork or basket-weave pattern.

Engraving in the band at the base reads ‘*LYKE STIL AND LOVE EVER ’ in serifed Roman capitals.

Posy type inscriptions can be seen on several 17th century silver thimbles from across England and Wales.

Examples from Cardiff, Kent, and Hampshire have all been reported through the Treasure Act 1996. Romantic passages such as this are very similar to those seen on contemporary posy rings.

“Perhaps thimbles, worn on the finger during needlework, were considered an intimate (and therefore romantic) possession, suitable as a gift between lovers,” said a spokesperson for Amgueddfa Cymru curators/ National Museum Cardiff.

The finder, Rob Edwards, told how he had come across the thimble.

He said: “I was out detecting under the shade of an oak tree and was having no luck, until I changed the program and found a great crisp signal.

“At first I thought it may be a sixpence, but to my surprise it was something silver – and not a coin.

“It wasn’t until later when I saw the similar waffle pattern on another thimble that I knew I had found something special. To be honest, my cousin (who is also my detecting partner) was a little jealous.

“I like to think about who used it. Was it used in the castle I could see over the way? Did someone get in trouble when it was lost? I’m very happy that I’ve been able to share it with the rest of you.”

The treasure inquest heard that Tenby Museum and Art Gallery has expressed an interest in acquiring this find for its collection after it has been independently valued by via the Treasure Valuation Committee.