All that glitters IS gold – The Mold Cape

A very special cape is getting Wrexham excited at the moment. The Mold Cape, a solid sheet-gold object dating from about 1900-1600 BC in the European Bronze Age, is currently on display in the Wrexham Museum. It was found by workmen in a Bronze Age burial mound at Mold in Flintshire, Wales, in 1833 and that’s where its name derives from.


Front view of the cape. It covered the upper body pinning the arms to its wearer’s sides. Photograph by Geni

And you certainly wouldn’t feel underdressed wearing this cape. It is one of the most spectacular examples of prehistoric sheet-gold working and the skills and craftsmanship gone into it are exceptional. The details are amazing and you have to remember that it is almost 4000 years old!!


Close up showing some of the intricate decoration. Photograph by

It was supposedly made for a woman (no surprise here) and used for ceremonial purposes, as the wearer’s arm movements were restricted to the lower arms because of the design. It may have signified the wearer as a person of spiritual or temporal power.

I remember seeing it in the British Museum a couple of years back but failed to take a picture then. So hopefully I will get a chance during its stay in Wrexham to find out a bit more about it and maybe take some pictures too (I’m not sure it is allowed). The Mold Cape is on display in the Wrexham Museum from today 8th August until 14th September 2013 and Wrexham Heritage Services are offering a programme of events. You can find more information here.


One thought on “All that glitters IS gold – The Mold Cape

  1. Ellen, I’ve been to see it and it’s lovely – lots of hard work went into it and to think it’s made from one small piece of gold beaten and pounded, molded and shaped to produce this.


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