'Lost ' medieval gold brooch was 'gift from beheaded baron'

Gold brooch Image copyright Hansen's Auctioneers
Image caption The brooch was found near the moat of Kirby Muxloe Castle leading experts to believe it may have belonged to the baroness who lived there

A medieval gold brooch believed to have been lost by a baroness more than 500 years ago has been found near the moat of a Leicestershire castle.

The 15th Century heart-shaped brooch probably belonged to Baroness Hastings, who lived in Kirby Muxloe Castle.

The jewel, found by a metal detectorist in a farmer's field, will be sold at auction in August.

Experts say it would have been given to her by Baron William Hastings, who was beheaded in 1483.

The brooch has a guide price of £6,000-£8,000.

It is inlaid with white enamel and engraved with the medieval French inscription "honor et joie" (honour and joy).

The finder, who wants to remain anonymous, will split the proceeds of the auction with the landowner after the British Museum declared it treasure but declined to purchase it.

Image caption The castle where the jewel was found was built in 1480 by Baron William Hastings, who was later beheaded at the Tower of London

The jewel was examined by experts at Hanson's Auctioneers and then authenticated at the British Museum.

William Hastings was a supporter of King Edward IV and fought alongside him at the battle of Towton in 1461, where he was knighted on the field of the battle.

He married Katherine Neville, Baroness Hastings, also from a noble family, in 1462. He was executed by Richard III at the Tower of London in 1483.

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