The new Mr and Mrs Martin Mills with the Newark Torc. — Picture by Michelle Wilson.
The new Mr and Mrs Martin Mills with the Newark Torc. — Picture by Michelle Wilson.

A bride’s big day was made extra special as her something old was a 2,000-year-old national treasure.

Clare Richardson was able to hold a rare solid gold necklace, known as a torc, that was found by her metal-detecting father and is kept under tight security at the National Civil War Centre in Newark.

The centre was the venue for the reception following the wedding of Clare and bridegroom Martin Mills.

The couple, who have known each other for seven years, kept the venue secret from her parents, along with the fact that she had successfully gained permission to hold the torc, which her father, Maurice, dug up in a field near Newark.

Martin, a steel erector, and Clare, who works at a nursery, married on Saturday at The Gilstrap Register Office in Newark in front of 70 guests with around 150 attending the reception. It was also her 40th birthday.

The couple left for a honeymoon in Venice on Tuesday. They will continue to live in Newark.

'Holding the torc is something very rare to do'

Clare had four bridesmaids and two page boys and was given away by her father, who found the Newark Torc in 2005.

It is described by the British Museum in London, where it has been exhibited, as one of the most significant pieces of Celtic artwork found in northern Europe.

Clare’s mother, Marion, who lives in Newark with Maurice, said: “It was a very special day for Clare and Martin and for Maurice.

“Clare booked the venue before even telling us she was getting married and Maurice was delighted.

“She spoke to the people there, who Maurice knows well, and they allowed them to hold the torc, which is something very rare to do.”

Marion said Clare and the whole family were so excited when Maurice found the torc, and being reunited with it on Clare’s wedding day was the icing on the cake.

The Newark Torc dates back to 250BC and is made with 150ft (45m) of gold wire.

The necklace was bought by Newark and Sherwood District Council for £350,000.