Norfolk loses title as top spot for finding treasure

Norfolk Coroner's Court ruled the late Saxon gold strip with gem and glass settings as treasure. Pic

The late Saxon gold strip with gem and glass settings. - Credit: Archant

Norfolk has been knocked off its perch as the country's top treasure hunting hotspot - a position it had held for the best part of a decade.

Newly published government statistics show Hampshire has edged ahead of Norfolk when it comes to reports of treasure.

Provisional figures from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) for 2018/19 showed there were 88 treasure cases in Norfolk, but 104 in Hampshire.

Sixteen of the Norfolk finds were donated to or acquired by Norwich Castle Museum.

In 2017/18 there had been 103 treasure finds in the county.

Since 2012 Norfolk had been in top place every year, with 2016 seeing the highest tally with 130.

In Suffolk, there were 69 treasure finds in 2018/19, up one on the previous year.

Suffolk's most famous archaeological find - The Sutton Hoo burial - is the focus of the new Netflix film The Dig.

Carey Mulligan and Ralph Fiennes in The Dig

The Dig, starring Carey Mulligan and Ralph Fiennes. - Credit: Larry Horricks/Netflix

Most Read

Objects are designated as treasure trove, under the 1996 Treasure Act, if found to be more than 300 years old and made of at least 10pc gold or silver, or found with artefacts made of precious metals.

Recent Norfolk finds declared as treasure at inquests, include:

Norfolk Coroner's Court ruled the late Saxon gold strip with gem and glass settings as treasure. Pic

The late Saxon gold strip with gem and glass settings. - Credit: Archant

The item was found by a metal detector near Aldborough on December 23, 2018.

The function of the artefact was unclear, but its diameter and thickness suggested it was more likely to be a decorative element from a larger object, rather than a finger-ring.

A silver middle Saxon silver brooch found by a metal detectorist in Swaffham on May 9 2019, has bee

A silver middle Saxon silver brooch found by a metal detectorist in Swaffham on May 9 2019, has been declared Treasure. Picture: Norfolk County Council - Credit: Archant

The brooch, decorated with flowers, animal motifs and ribbons is thought to date from the late 9th century.

A post-medieval silver seal matrix, which has been declared to be treasure at Norfolk Coroner's Cour

A post-medieval silver seal matrix, which has been declared to be treasure at Norfolk Coroner's Court. Image: Supplied by Norfolk Coroner's Court - Credit: Archant

The object was found at an undisclosed location in March, 2019.

It would have been used impression on a wax seal, which would have both authenticated a letter or document and kept it closed.

The provisional figure for reported treasure finds across England, Wales and North Ireland in 2019 was 1,311, the highest figure on record.

This made 2019 the sixth year in a row when reported treasure finds exceeded 1,000.

The bulk of the finds were made by metal detectorists.