England's largest-ever hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold coins unearthed in Norfolk field

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England's largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold coins has been found by metal detectorists.

Treasure hunters found 131 gold coins - mostly Frankish tremisses - and four other gold objects in a single field in west Norfolk.

The landowner has requested anonymity, so the exact location remains a mystery.

They were buried about 1,400 years ago, at a time when England was not yet unified and was divided into smaller kingdoms.

Most were found by one detectorist - who also wants to remain anonymous - between 2014 and 2020.

But 10 of the coins were discovered by David Cockle, a police officer at the time, who despite having permission to be in the field, broke the law by failing to declare his find and tried to sell it on.

He was sentenced to 16 months in jail in 2017 after admitting the theft.

The Treasure Act allows museums to acquire such finds for public benefit and a reward is normally paid that's shared between the finder and landowner.

Rewards are fixed at full market value on the advice of a panel of experts, known as the Treasure Valuation Committee.

Norfolk Castle Museum hopes to acquire the latest find.

Senior curator of archaeology at the museum, Tim Pestell, said the items were internationally significant and reflected the "wealth and continental connections enjoyed by the early Kingdom of East Anglia".

Before the Norfolk hoard, the biggest find of this period was a purse containing 101 Anglo-Saxon coins in Crondall, Hampshire in 1828.

In 2009, 5.1kg of gold and 1.4kg of silver from the same period were discovered in Staffordshire by Terry Herbert.

It contained no coins but remains the largest precious metal find.

There is also the ship burial from Sutton Hoo in Suffolk, discovered in 1939 and portrayed in Netflix film The Dig. That burial contained a purse of 37 gold coins and other gold items.

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