Page last updated at 15:31 GMT, Wednesday, 14 April 2010 16:31 UK

Norman coins found near Knaresborough 'are treasure'

Norman coin unearthed near Knaresborough. Copyright: Dennis Trueman-Smith.
The haul includes silver pennies and halfpennies

Rare 12th Century coins unearthed in North Yorkshire have been declared treasure by a coroner in Harrogate.

The silver coins were found on remote farmland near Knaresborough by amateur metal detector enthusiasts in 2008.

Dating from the reign of Henry I, the haul of 178 coins is believed to be one of the biggest hoards of its kind.

The find will be valued, with any proceeds being split between the landowner and the team from West Yorkshire who found them.

Fifteen members of the West Riding Detector Group made the discovery.

Peter Spencer, from Leeds, said he was astounded when one of his colleagues unearthed the first coin.

'Outstanding' find

He said: "I looked at one side of the coin and couldn't make out much but the design on the reverse side made it clear that we had a Henry I penny. In 10 years we've never found anything from the Norman period."

A short while later other members started finding more coins.

Mr Spencer added: "You'd have to be a detectorist to understand how we feel about this find. You would have to have been out in all weathers finding smashed-up tin cans and pieces of lead to really understand what an outstanding find this was for us."

The 1996 Treasure Act legally obliges finders of historic metal objects to report their discovery to the local coroner who determines whether or not it constitutes treasure.

Print Sponsor

Roman coin is 'oldest in Britain'
29 Jan 10 |  Leicestershire
Viking hoard saved for the nation
27 Aug 09 |  North Yorkshire
Viking hoard reveals its story
27 Aug 09 |  Today
Largest Anglo-Saxon hoard found
23 Sep 09 |  Staffordshire

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific