The Kingston Brooch is one of the most elaborate pieces of Anglo-Saxon jewellery ever found in England. It was discovered amongst the burial belongings of a wealthy woman on the 5 August 1771 by the Reverend Byran Faussett at Kingston near Canterbury in Kent. In his field notes, Faussett described it as “…one of the most curious and, for its size, costly pieces of antiquity ever discovered in England.”
During the war, St Martin’s Bank on Water Street, Liverpool became an important place for storing the UK’s wealth. It was hoped the bank would be safer than London during the air raids. The bank’s vaults took in the Bank of England’s gold reserves and it also became the temporary home for some of World Museum’s most important objects.
As the museum’s curators were frantically packing objects for evacuation it fell to museum attendant, George Youlton to transfer these treasures (packed in a cardboard box!) to the bank. He would later recall:
"I remember taking some to St Martin’s Bank near the Town Hall. Among them were the Mexican Codex or Calendar, the Kingston Brooch – a rare Anglo Saxon find – and the linen girdle that belonged to Ramases theThird. They remained there until we collected them after the war."
The brooch returned to the museum after the war and remains one of the most important objects in the Anglo-Saxon collections.