RELICS of Romsey’s past have been returned to the town thanks to a chance find.

They include a Saxon artefacts unearthed at Michelmersh and other important items dug up from what is now the car park behind Abbey Walk.

The treasures, which had been kept at Hampshire’s County Museum Services offices in Winchester, are now on show at King John’s House and Heritage Centre.

Manager Anne James said: “We aim to become an accredited museum and while we were going through all our bits and piecse we have on show we came across an old piece of paper with Test Valley Archaeological Trust on it. Frank Green (the borough’s archaelogist) had made a list of artefacts found in the 1970s in the Church Street car park.

“Test Valley Archaeological Trust handed them over to the County Museum Service until Romsey established it own museum. There were some nice things, including a unique medieval face jug which was almost intact that was found in a cesspit.”

Anne said other exciting finds that have come home to Romsey included curlers used by wigmakers that was found in Cherville Street in the 1980s and lots of things made from bones.

“There is some rare and beautiful Saxon pottery section jars dating back to AD 1,000 that were found at Michelmersh when the Transco gas pipeline was put in. The jars came from a pottery kiln and production centre,” added Anne, who said that close examination of the inside of the jars would suggest the containers were either wheel-thrown or wheel-finished.

Roman finds are also amongst the pieces that have been returned and include a bronze spatula, enamelled bronze brooch, a finger ring and a cosmetic implement all unearthed in the town’s Narrow Lane in 1981, along with flint hand axes found at Dunbridge and Belbins.

“It’s lovely to have all these unique artefacts back in Romsey again after being filed away in a box for several decades,” concluded Anne.

Bosses at Hampshire’s Museum Service have handed back artefacts that were dug up in and around the town decades ago to King John’s House Museum.