A farm labourer had a lucky 11th-hour find when he dug up more than a dozen silver coins dating back to the time of Henry VIII on land near Ludlow.
David Franklin, 34, had taken up the hobby of metal detectoring a year before he made his find.
After a fruitless day spent scouring nearby fields, he had almost given up and was walking through woodland when the machine went off. So he started to dig.
Underneath the foliage and loam and buried about six inches below the surface he found the first of his coins.
At a treasure inquest held at Shirehall, Shrewsbury Mr John Ellery, senior coroner for Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin heard that the hoard was probably a purse that had contained 19 silver shillings and groats from the late Tudor period.
A number of the coins were from the reign of Queen Mary I and several were from the reign of Elizabeth I.
A fragmented coin was dated to the reign of Henry VIII.
All the coins were dated by antiquities experts to come from the period 1544 to 1561.
Mr Franklin, who lives in Leominster, realised the potential of his find and called his two friends Ben Purdy and Gareth Jones to come and help him search for more.
Between the three of them they uncovered a number of coins.
Mr Ellery declared the find to be treasure.
Shropshire Museums are now interested in acquiring the items, which will be valued by experts.
Mr Franklin said: “I felt brilliant when I found the coins.
“I had never found anything before as I had only been doing metal detecting for about a year.
“I was walking back through the woods after searching in a field and my detector went off. I started to dig around and then I found them.
“I couldn’t believe it.”
Since that lucky day, and despite numerous further visits to the site – the location of which was undisclosed at the inquest – Mr Franklin has failed to find any more coins.
“I know the museum have said they want to buy them from us so we are going to go from there,” he added.
“It would be really good to see them on display.”
Another item to be declared treasure was a love token which was also found in a field near Ludlow.
Inscribed with the words ‘Yours or Not Mine’, the silver locket, which is believed to be more than 300 years old, was found by metal detectorist Shawn Paynter in a location close to Greete.
Mr Paynter, from Oldbury in the West Midlands,had been on a club rally in the area on January 31, 2016, when he came across the find.
The locket, which measures 29.52mm in height and 19.52mm in width, is thought to date back to the 17th century. It is decorated with hearts, flowers, zig zags and notches.
Shropshire Museums has expressed an interest in acquiring the item.Subscribe to our Newsletter