Rare find for metal detector

AN Ipswich metal detecting enthusiast has found treasure trove expected to be worth thousands of pounds in a farmer's field.John McLaughlin, 54, discovered silver gilt brooches, Anglo Saxon dress ornaments, silver studs, rings, knives, a spearhead and amber beads in Mark Partridge's north Ipswich field.

AN Ipswich metal detecting enthusiast has found treasure trove expected to be worth thousands of pounds in a farmer's field.

John McLaughlin, 54, discovered silver gilt brooches, Anglo Saxon dress ornaments, silver studs, rings, knives, a spearhead and amber beads in Mark Partridge's north Ipswich field.

The treasure was from disturbed burial sites from the Sixth and Seventh Century Anglo Saxon and Pagan periods. Mr McLaughlin said the landowner, Mr Partridge gave him permission to metal detect over his land after it was ploughed.

He said he had been finding treasure there for the last three years. “This is my first important find. I have been metal detecting for 10 years and I normally find coins and buckles, so this was a surprise,” he added.

Mr McLaughlin said he reported the delicate items, which had been fragmented by a plough, to John Newman, who is Suffolk County Council's archaeological officer.

Mr Newman said: “These items are linked to some others found in cemeteries around Suffolk and Kent. There were a number of disturbed graves, both male and female and some of high status because of the silver gilt brooches found.

Most Read

“The iron spearhead is similar to those found in pagan burials. This find gives us an insight into Anglo Saxon life and Ipswich Museum is interested in them.”

Mr Newman explained that treasure such as this was taken to the British Museum and an inquest held to determine if it is precious metal over 300 years old and therefore treasure trove.

At the Ipswich inquest Greater Suffolk Coroner Doctor Peter Dean declared that the find was “undoubtedly treasure trove”.

Mr Newman said the treasure would be valued by experts and it would then be up to Ipswich Museum to raise the funds through grants to buy the items for display. He said Mr McLaughlin and Mr Partridge would each receive half the value.

Mr Newman said: “I would be surprised if it goes over hundreds”.

But Mr McLaughlin said: “I'm expecting it to be thousands based on other finds.” He added: “It just keeps me very interested in metal detecting, you go over the same ground each year and it's very exciting never knowing what you are going to find.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter