A METAL detectorist said he was left shaking after finding a gold ring believed to be linked to one of Henry VIII's wives.

Steve Whitehead made the discovery on a dig not far from Sinnington with the Down to Earth metal detecting club.

The ring, which could be worth £20,000, is likely to date from the ninth to 15th centuries due to the Lombardic text on it.

With Catherine Parr, Henry VIII's sixth wife, having previously been married to the lord of the manor in Sinnington, Steve is hopeful the ring could have a royal connection.

The 53-year-old, who lives in Fulford, York, said the dig on September 10, began "quite quietly", but took off after he adjusted his detector.

"I walked up the field and detected something in between two pieces of iron," he said.

"I looked down in the space and found it was a ring. I thought nothing else of it at the time and put it in my pocket.

"When we stopped for lunch the others said they had been getting the usual bits of rubbish. I looked at the ring again and said 'no I don't think this is rubbish'.

"I noticed it had an inscription on the inside and outside. We all got really excited and I was shaking a bit.

"I knew it was gold more or less straight away. It came out of the ground quite clean. I was really quite excited and over the moon.

"It was found where an old hedge used to be. That's why it has been protected from the plough. It means it is in really good condition."

Steve, who works in risk management at York Hospital, discovered the gold ring, which has a dark blue sapphire stone in the bezel, buried four inches down in a field.

His find has been reported to the North Yorkshire coroner and was handed over to the Yorkshire Museum on Monday.

It will now go through the treasure trove process, with Steve and the landowner receiving half of any reward paid.

"It will go for valuation, which could take up to a year," he said.

"Catherine Parr lived at a manor house nearby. It could be linked to her because of the text on it. It could also go back much further and be Saxon. It's all up in the air."