An exciting and important discovery has proved the Vikings once visited Oswestry.

History expert Chris Langston uncovered the rare four-way horse harness fitting - believed to be early Medieval Viking/Anglo-Scandinavian - while metal detecting on the outskirts of the town, close to the bypass.

Chris told the Advertizer: “We don’t get these kind of finds around here.

“We think it might have had something to do with the A5, they [The Vikings] may well have been travelling through the area and that’s how it has got here. When you think of how they would have travelled from Chester to Dover they would have skipped this area out completely and Mercia wasn’t a Viking territory.”

The artefact, which would have sat as a brow mount on the horse dates back to between 950AD and 1100AD.

It has caused excitement with Shropshire’s find liaison officer, Peter Reavill, who told Chris’s Oswestry Unearthed page: “From Shropshire perspective I see one or two piece harnesses per year and this is the primary evidence for people in this period – it is only through these finds made and recorded by metal detectorists, that we are seeing these people!”

Chris, who writes an Oswestry Unearthed, continued: “When I first found it I asked others what they thought it was, but once I knew I kept it in my jacket pocket for ages a week because I didn’t want to let go of it.”

He continued that because it does not class as treasure it will go on display at Oswestry Town Museum.

Another big find for Chris in recent weeks has been the discovery of a Tudor spoon dating to 1550, which was also uncovered on the outskirts of the town.

It is currently going through the process of whether it should be declared treasure as it is over 300 years old and is made of silver.

The spoon features an hexagonal stem and a fig-shaped bowl, and a short hand cut rat tail on the back of the bowl.

He added: “It will also go on display in the museum for people to see.

“For me discovering these items is all about who was the last person to touch that item all those years ago. It places those people in our area and helps to put the picture together.”