Men discover historic coins in Norfolk

Two men made an amazing discovery of silver coins dating back to the 16th century while using metal detectors on the outskirts of Norwich, a hearing has been told.

Gavin Bowen and Gary Barker found the 11 coins, dating back to 1553, while using their detectors in Spixworth.

A treasure trove inquest was conducted this week by Norfolk Coroner William Armstrong, pictured, who read from a report by Dr Adrian Marsden, of the British Museum.

Mr Armstrong said: 'The coins were found while searching with metal detectors in the months up to September 2009.

'At this point it was realised that the coins could have been a case of treasure.'

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He added that the coins were believed to be a group, originally held in a purse or container, 'which were lost over time and scattered as a result of farming activity'.

The find was defined as treasure, meaning it belongs to the Crown. The discovery is one of many in the region, which has seen a record number of archaeological finds recently.

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At the inquest, Mr Armstrong also oversaw two other finds classified as treasure. Part of an ancient horse harness dating back to 1BC was discovered this April in Shipdam, near East Dereham, as a result of metal detecting on the part of Stephen Ottaway.

Mr Ottaway discovered a copper alloy horde consisting of two terrets – a metal loop on a harness that guides the reins – and a mount, which was broken in two.

The final item of treasure was a post-medieval silver gilt pendant, discovered last September in Roydon, by Michael Noble.

In a report, the pendant was described as in the form of a wreath, with six flowers and pellets between each. It was thought to date back to the 16th or 17th Century.

Have you discovered something valuable? Contact reporter John Owens on 01603 772439 or email

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