Inquests find medieval and Bronze Age relics found by metal detectors in West Norfolk are treasure

Part of the hoard of Sceattas. Picture: Submitted Part of the hoard of Sceattas. Picture: Submitted

Tuesday, April 29, 2014
9:29 AM

A hoard of 12 silver coins has been declared treasure, meaning their finder can keep them, at a coroner’s inquest today.

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The coins were found by Stephen Sproule whilst he was metal detecting on land at Fincham, near Downham Market, in October 2011.

Coroner Jacqueline Lake said the small silver coins were known as Sceattas and represented the first type of penny, which were minted from 675AD until the middle of the 8th Century.

“They were scattered over a wide area but would appear to represent a hoard or part of a hoard, rather than stray losses over time” she said.

“These coins are in good condition and had not been in circulation long when deposited.”

Mrs Lake, sitting at King’s Lynn County Court, said two or more silver coins which were more than 300 years old and lost or buried together constituted treasure. Lynn Museum had expressed an interest in acquiring the coins, the court was told.

A medieval silver ear scoop found by Mr Sproule last August, on land near Fincham, was also declared treasure at a hearing this afternoon.

The item, which has a shaft made from sheet metal with a small spoon at one end, is believed to date back to the 14th Century.

Mrs Lake said its age and precious metal content meant it qualified as treasure. She said Lynn Museum had also expressed an interest in the item.

A golden stud found at Congham, believed to date back to 560 AD and Bronze Age gold ring, found at Fincham, were also declared treasure.

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