HUNDREDS of people attended the Novotel hotel for a rare chance to see a priceless artefact.

The gold “Fishergate ring” is thought to have belonged to a rich, powerful figure in the ninth century.

It was reportedly discovered on the finger of a skeleton at the Redfearn Glassworks in the 1930s.

Although the ring’s full history is shrouded in mystery, it was presented to the Yorkshire Museum in 1951 by the Terry family, on behalf of Henry Earnest Leetham JP.

The ring, usually kept under wraps at the Yorkshire Museum stores, was displayed at the hotel on Sunday as part of an Art Fund project to return artefacts to the communities where they were found. The museum’s curator of numismatics Andrew Woods talked about the ring’s significance.

Organisers from the Fishergate, Fulford and Heslington Local History Society, said they were overwhelmed by the event’s popularity.

Chairman Chris Rainger said: “We’ve had hundreds of people, a lot more than expected, including visitors from the four schools in the area as well as families and a whole range of ages.”