The Gold Cape, Mold

Link to French translationLink to Japanese translationThe Gold Cape, Wrexham Street, Mold

This pub is named after one of the most remarkable artefacts to survive from Bronze Age Britain (c.4000 BC to 1000 BC). The Mold cape is at the British Museum in London. You can see a copy of it at the Mold museum, a stone’s throw away from the pub in Earl Road (see the green pin on our map below).

Quarrymen discovered the fragmented cape in 1833, while excavating stone from an ancient burial mount known as Bryn yr Ellyllon (“Hill of the Fiends” or “Hill of the Elves”). This is beside the A541 Chester Road (yellow pin on our map).
To hear how to pronounce Bryn yr Ellyllon, press play: Or, download mp3 (18KB)

The vicar of Mold recorded what was found in the stone-lined grave in the burial mound. There were fragments of gold, and of the bones of the person who wore the cape for burial. There were also bronze strips and amber beads.

The finders kept the fragments of gold. The local landowner kept most of them and sold them in 1836 to the British Museum, which managed to acquire other fragments later.

We now know that the cape was made by hammering a single gold ingot into a sheet which was then decorated with patterns of ribs and hubs. It probably had a leather lining, and the bronze strips provided further reinforcement. The object would have been too heavy for normal use and was probably a ceremonial symbol of authority.

It wasn’t until the pieces were reassembled in the 1960s that the cape’s form could be appreciated. A new piece was made to fill the largest gap, at the bottom of the front. Leftover fragments revealed that a smaller gold object, with matching décor, had also been placed in the grave.

Postcode: CH7 1ES    View Location Map

More information and photos of the cape on the British Museum website

Website of The Gold Cape pub