Three buddies on tenting journey dig up £40okay value of gold cash


A group of metal detectors who uncovered a vast hoard of over 150 Roman coins are said to make £40,000. The trio of friends were on a camping trip near Pewsey, Wiltshire when they discovered buried treasure just 6ft from their tent.

At first finder Robert Abbot, 53, thought he had just found a handful of old metal pegs after his machine activated. But hidden below was a silver Roman siliqua coin. He continued to search and his detector went into a frenzy.

Companions Dave Allen, 59, and Mick Rae, 63, joined forces and frantically unearthed dozens of the coins. By the end of the weekend, they had discovered 161 silver coins, all around 1,600 years old, which they carried home while washing up the bowl. The coins, which date from 340 to 602 AD, are believed to have been buried when Anglo-Saxon invaders overran Britain in the ailing days of the Roman Empire.

The Pewsey Hoard is now set to sell for £40,000. The coins will go under the hammer at London auction house Noonans. Rob, who owns a computer shop in Essex, said: “When I first finished breakfast I turned on my machine and after about six paces from the tent I found several tent pegs and just below the surface a late Roman silver siliqua in pristine condition.

“A few moments later I found another one next to it. Ironically we had camped there two weeks earlier for a week long scouting trip. What we didn’t realize was that we had actually been camping directly over the area where the coins were found. We were so excited and looking forward to the auction – but we have no idea how we’re going to spend the money.”

A silver miliarensis trier coin found in the hoard

Nigel Mills, coin specialist at Noonans, said the coins are in “as new” condition. He said: “Virtually all the coins are in mint condition and have not had to be cleaned once since their discovery. The treasure was buried at a time when Roman rule in Britain was no longer viable under Emperor Honorius with the army recalled to protect other provinces.

“In AD 410, Britain was instructed by Honorius to protect itself. As a result, Britain became a treasure island of the late 4th and early 5th centuries as local people buried their valuables and then fell prey to the Saxon raids: “Detector finds of recent years include the hoard of Thetford and Hoxne.” The hoard will be sold on May 17th.

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