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How to Find Hoards With a Metal Detector - Hoards Found in Cheshire
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How to find hoards with a metal detector - How to Find Hoards - Introduction - Cheshire

Hoards Found in Cheshire


The Huxley Hoard, a hoard of Viking age silver and lead found in November 2004.

Hoard Hunting County Guide

Below is a county by county guide to hoard finds. These lists should not be considered exhaustive and new material will be added as more information and sources become available. All of the locations listed should be considered private property until proven otherwise and the proper permissions obtained, preferably in writing, in advance of any visit. Some hoard sites are scheduled ancient monuments, be very sure that any location you wish to metal detect on is not a protected archaeological site.

Hoard Hunting Metal Detectors

There are a number of metal detectors on the market specifically designed for hoard hunting. Most are of the two-box design, such as the Fisher Gemini III or the Whites TM-808. For most detectorists, buying a two-box is unnecessary. The vast majority of hoards are found with conventional detectors. But should you find a scatter of coins in very good condition or have any other reason to suspect a hoard maybe located on a site, you can always try to hire one from a metal detecting shop or distributor.

So, You Found a Hoard? Now What?

What happens next depends on the exact nature of you find.

Scattered Hoards

Scattered hoards occur when the pot, bag, or receptacle coins or artefacts were originally concealed in perishes and the items are scattered by the action of the plough, helped along by earthworms, rabbits and moles etc. Coins or artefacts originally hidden in a pot, bag or sack may end up scattered over a very wide area.

Best practice for scattered hoards of coins or artefacts is to log the position of each find with a Global Positioning System, write down the the grid reference on a bit of paper and place it in a small polythene grip-seal bag with the coin or artefact. One coin/artefact and one piece of paper with the grid reference written on it per bag, once the object and the grid reference are safely inside, seal the bag shut and put it somewhere safe. Small polythene grip-seal bags that are perfect for this can be had very cheaply on eBay, and they come in all shapes and sizes.

'Intact' Hoards

Hoards still contained within the pot the coins or items were originally concealed in, or masses of coins or artefacts all in the same hole (the cloth or leather bag they were originally stored in having long since rotted away), are probably the most important to the archaeologist. Should you find an 'intact' hoard, call in the archaeologists at the earliest opportunity, preferably while the material is still in the ground. Professional excavation of intact hoards is vital to developing a better understanding of who, how and why the hoard was hidden in the first place.

Reporting Your Discovery

The most important phone number you will need is that of the local Coroner, you will find his or her number in the local phone book or Yellow Pages. When you call it is unlikely that the Coroner will be the one answering the phone, it will either be his or her secretary or a Coroner's Officer, they will tell you how to proceed with your report. When you have discovered a hoard, getting the report to the Coroner is probably the most important part of the entire process. Be sure to get an acknowledgement of your report in writing.

Inform the Landowner and your local Finds Liaison Officer (FLO) at the earliest opportunity.

Contact the local museum, even if your local museum is not a portable antiquities scheme reporting center. The staff will probably be ecstatic to hear that something of importance has been found locally and they may well be interested in buying the hoard should the Coroner declare it treasure. Also, contacting the local museum, even if they are not a part of the treasure process, is just common courtesy.