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Staffordshire Hoard – original finder and landowner to share second windfall

14 January 2013Written by Ivan Macquisten

A fresh discovery of artefacts in a Staffordshire field where the famous 2009 hoard was found has been declared treasure and part of the hoard.

It means that metal detectorist Terry Herbert, who discovered the original hoard of more than 3900 pieces of gold, silver and bronze in the same field after gaining official permission to scan, will share another windfall with the landowner, farmer Fred Johnson. The original find saw them split a pot of £3.3m.

South Staffordshire coroner Andrew Haigh ruled that 81 of the 91 pieces of the latest find in the field at Hammerwich, near Lichfield were treasure.

Mr Haigh discounted eight pieces as "modern" and declared that two further pieces, which were found 40 to 50m away from the other pieces were not part of the hoard.

Staffordshire County Council leader Philip Atkins welcomed the ruling at the inquest, saying: "It is great news that more pieces of the hoard have been discovered and the challenge now is to work with our partners to raise the money to make sure the collection stays together in the West Midlands."

Fragments of History

Ninety-one pieces of gold and silver were recovered when the field was recently ploughed.

Many of these items weigh less than a gram. The collection does, however, include a possible helmet cheek piece (shown here), a cross-shaped mount and an eagle-shaped mount.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Birmingham City Council acquired the original hoard after launching a fundraising campaign to keep it in the West Midlands.

Over £900,000 was raised through public donations, with further funds coming from Staffordshire County Council, Birmingham City Council, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Lichfield District Council and Tamworth Borough Council.

The news comes as English Heritage warned that rogue detectorists who did not adhere to the Portable Antiquities Scheme rules would be pursued and prosecuted. As last week's front page report detailed, the warning followed what was being hailed as a landmark case when two metal detectorists were given suspended jail sentences after illegally digging up artefacts at the site of a Roman town at Chester Farm near Irchester in Northamptonshire.

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