TWO metal detector enthusiasts have spoken of the moment they uncovered the biggest hoard of Roman coins ever found in Worcestershire.
Jethro Carpenter and Mark Gilmore, both from Redditch, have been visiting the area around Bredon Hill for more than 20-years and say despite the discovery of the Bredon Hill Hoard containing 3,784 silver Roman coins they plan to keep hunting.
Mr Carpenter, who works as a refuse collector, said he always knew there were important and valuable items out there to be found.
He said: “We went to the hill out of desperation because the fields are cropped up. We thought even if we get one or two coins its better than staying at home twiddling your thumbs.
“To find it was the biggest surprise. Especially within minutes of turning the machine on. It is the biggest find we have ever had. I wasn’t expecting it on that day. We sat there for half an hour admiring the view before we even got started.
“When we found it I had palpatations. You can’t believe your eyes when these things come to light. Your emotions are running very high. It’s a very good feeling.
“It stems from when I was a child reading stories about buried treasure. I always knew there was stuff out there to be found. I will keep searching and keep on trying. All these big finds are found by accident. I was fortunate on the day to put my detector in the right spot.”
The pair discovered the coins about 50cm below the soil on June 18.
The collection of coins are dated between 244 and 282 AD and feature 16 Roman Emperors.
A pot which contained around 3,700 of the coins dated back to 350 AD, showing the coins were buried between 80 to 100 years after they were in use and making the find of national significance.
Mark Gilmore, who is a carer for his grandmother, said: “I have had dreams about this. We all dream about finding treasure. It’s amazing to be part of it.
“We found a nail and then we kept digging and found a piece of pot. You think bloody hell that could be something.
“Then we found a coin and then coins stuck together and then you saw they were everywhere. I went to get a bag to put them in and when I got back there was a mountain of coins. I said no way. I am not easily impressed, but I was by this.”
Current excavation work shows evidence of three phases of buildings on the land and Iron Age buildings.
And Philippa Tinsley from Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum said the farm land where the coins were found may be traced to an individual family following further research.
Richard Henry, Finds Liaison Officer for the Portable Antinquities Scheme, said: “The 3784 coins span 38 years and are a fascinating little piece of history dating from a turbulent time during which the Roman Empire saw revolts, rebellions, plague and invasions.”
Worcester museums are hoping to raise funds to purchase the Bredon Hill Hoard keeping it in Worcester.
The Exhibition at Worcester City Art Gallery & Museum runs from Saturday, October 22, to Saturday, November 26.