Buried treasures galore on weekend of metal detecting adventure

Hundreds of history enthusiasts took to the fields of the county in their bid to make a landmark discovery.

Sergey Gusves, Paul Williams, Jason Mellington and Anthony Horsfield search for buried treasure
Sergey Gusves, Paul Williams, Jason Mellington and Anthony Horsfield search for buried treasure

More than 300 people took part in a metal detecting weekend near Wem, with a number of significant finds – including one that will likely be subject to the treasure inquest process.

Taking place across around 230 acres, scores of enthusiasts scoured the landscape in search of a link to the county's past.

Organised by Noble Pursuits, the event comes as Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery has just opened up an exhibition showcasing one of the country's most significant metal detecting finds ever.

The exhibition is showing off a £250,000 medieval 'bulla' sun pendant discovered by retired Oswestry engineer, Bob Greenaway in the Shropshire Marches.

It is the most high profile discoveries in the county, but is one of scores of significant finds made in recent years.

Cai Anthony, who runs Noble Pursuits, said that the weekend had thrown up a number of historic items, including a gold medieval hammered coin – believed to be an Edward III Quarter Noble, a solid silver medieval cockspur, and eight Bronze Roman coins.

Tobias Karim, who found a gold coin dated to the 1300s
Objects including a watch winder, a musket ball, a spindle worl and Victoria penny were discovered

Mr Anthony said that the cockspur would be subject to the treasure process, and that over the weekend there had been around 40 to 50 hammered coins discovered.

He said the county remains fertile ground for history hunters, adding: "I think we are fairly blessed, anywhere this far south and down you will find a lot of history."

Mr Anthony said the pursuit was one where people would spend years hoping to find a little piece of history.

He said: "Some people are in it for the excitement of some life changing financial find but for the majority of people it is about that connection with history. Most people enjoy that connection when you pull something out of the ground and think 'I am the first person hold this in 2,000 years'."

Mr Anthony said some of the coins and the cockspur had been found in close proximity, leading to speculation that the area could have been a site for historic cock fighting.

He said: "There is a theory that maybe they were doing cock fighting up there and maybe the coins could have been dropped when they were gambling. You never know."

Mr Anthony said that while everyone hopes for finds like the 'bulla', the everyday discoveries made across Shropshire are still enough to take the breath away.

He said: "That is the dream, finding something that alters history, something that has never been seen before. Those kinds of finds are few and far between but the things we pull out of the ground on a weekly basis are amazing."

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