A GOLD medieval ring, thought to be around 600 years old, is on show in an Isle of Wight Museum after it was discovered in Godshill.

The Museum of Island History at the Guildhall Museum in Newport has now made the ring pride of place among its exhibits.

The artifact was discovered by Matthew Shaw while metal detecting in a field near to Godshill in June 2018.

The engravings on the 15th century ring depict scenes showing St Margaret of Antioch spearing a dragon through the mouth.

Corina Westwood, curator of human history, said: "St Margaret was a famous saint during medieval times — after refusing to marry, she was faced with terrible trials and tortures.

"An account of one of the trials describes how Satan, disguised as a dragon, swallowed Margaret alive. Margaret’s faith freed her from the dragon, spearing it through its mouth with her cross.

"St Margaret of Antioch is the patron saint of expectant mothers."

By law, metal detectorists who discover precious metal artifacts must legally declare them and allow a treasure inquest to take place, after which they must allow a local museum to make an offer for the item.

Cllr John Hobart, cabinet member for environment and heritage, said: "The St Margaret ring gives an insight into medieval belief and devotion which are relevant themes to our visitors and community today.

"The story of St Margaret's resilience will hopefully excite and inspire a wider audience and encourage more people to find out more about the Island's past."