Some years ago, on a path close to Middleham Castle, a beautiful pendant was found – of gold set with a huge blue sapphire and engraved with biblical scenes. It’s believed to be a jewel designed to provide protection against various ailments – and possibly to protect women in childbirth.
No one knows who it may have belonged to. Such a valuable jewel must have been the property of a rich and most likely noble lady. Could it have belonged to Anne Neville, wife of Duke Richard, and later his Queen? Perhaps Duke Richard brought it home from London as a Christmas gift to his beloved wife. He will have been able to choose from among the jewellery made by the finest goldsmiths there and on the continent.
Perhaps we will never know. Or perhaps – just perhaps – someone can tell us. Perhaps a page in the household who may have seen the jewel up close one evening, after he sang and played the lute for his master’s wife. Perhaps…
The jewel is now on display at the Yorkshire Museum in York.