Detectorists dig up more than 500 coins from 1300s

Staff writer

A group of amateur metal detectorists dug up a 14th century hoard of more than 550 rare gold and silver coins worth an estimated £150,000.

The four - including three Geordies - struck gold in a field in Hambleden, Buckinghamshire and were initially delighted to find 12 ornately decorated silver Edward I and II coins.

But the men - more used to digging up shotgun shells and thimbles than treasure - were astonished to find coin after coin from the hidden ancient hoard.

Over four days they excavated 557 coins - including 12 ultra-rare full gold nobles from the time of the Black Death.

Andrew Winter, 38, brothers Tobiasz and Mateusz Nowak, 30 and 33, and Dariusz Fijalkowski, 44, slept in a tent by the hole in order to stop potential thieves stealing their finds.

The hoard is now stored at an undisclosed museum in order to keep it safe and will be independently evaluated before being sold.

Detectorists

The find is believed to be the biggest found in Britain in nearly a decade, and the largest silver coin collection discovered in one place for 12 years.The value will be split with the landowner.

Mr Winter, a forklift driver from Blyth, told iNews: "I swung around my machine and all the silver coins were coming in at number 16 on the screen – this indicates a hammered silver coin.

"The other signal I got was a 21. It went ting, ting, ting and sounds completely different to anything else. I shouted 'gold, gold gold!'

"The lads just looked at me and I knew then we had something special. We knew there and then this was going to be one of the ones you never, ever forget.

"And to do it with my two best friends was really special. We just kept finding, finding, finding and digging and digging and digging. My machine was like a hoover.

"It feels unreal. I can't believe it. It couldn't have happened to three more common guys you know."

Tobiasz, a baker from Newcastle, added: "I can't even imagine how we got so lucky. It was the best weekend of my life. I'll remember it my whole life."