People in Norfolk second most likely to find buried treasure

Coins from the Hoxne hoard - the richest find of treasure from Roman Britain Picture: British Museu

Coins from the Hoxne hoard - the richest find of treasure from Roman Britain Picture: British Museum - Credit: Archant

There's treasure in the fields and lanes of Norfolk - and here are the figures to prove it.

People in Nelson's County are the second most likely in the country to stumble upon a piece of buried treasure, new analysis of data shows.

There have been 8,775 pieces of buried treasure found in England, Wales and Northern Ireland from 2012 to 2019, according to government data.

Norfolk has long been a haven for treasure hunters, with the county seeing the highest number of finds in the seven-year period - 917. 

A study by jewellerybox.co.uk, using the data and population figures from the Office for National Statistics, found people on the Isle Wight are most likely to come into contact with treasure, with 129 finds per 100,000 people. 

Barrie Sharrock, 67, has been a metal detector for the last 26 years and is chairman of the local gr

Barrie Sharrock, 67, has been a metal detector for the last 26 years and is chairman of the local group of detectorists. Pictures: Adam Scorey Copy:Angi Kennedy For:EDP Sunday © EDP pics 2004 Tel: (01603) 772434 - Credit: Archant

Norfolk came in close second, with a rate of 100. Suffolk's figure was 76.3.

Notable finds in Norfolk since 2012 include a Medieval chandelier and Bronze Age sword, as well as the pendant and necklace discovered by a student detectorist.

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The biggest hoard of late Roman silver and gold in Britain was on the Suffolk-Norfolk border at Hoxne, in 1992.

It included 14,865 gold, silver and bronze Roman coins and 200 pieces of silver tableware and gold jewellery.

A bone found at Sedgeford, near Heacham, in 2003, was also found to contain 20 gold coins dating from the 1st century.

Nineteen other coins were found nearby on the Iron Age site.

Dr Helen Geake, who looks after treasure finds for Norfolk, said there were three main reasons for the area's high rate.

"We have a lot of metal detectorists," she said. "We have been working very closely with people who find things for longer than anywhere else.

Metal detectorist Damon Pye who found some gold Roman coins.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Metal detectorist Damon Pye who found some gold Roman coins.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

"We have a lot of arable land so there's land for them to go on, and a lot of people who knows farmers."

She said the third reason came from the county's history - Norfolk was historically a rich county, meaning that there were more items of interest for people to leave behind or lose over the years.

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