Unemployed man could get £1m for largest ever Anglo Saxon haul

An update on the man who uncovered the largest ever Anglo Saxon hoard with his metal detector has been reported by the Sun newspaper.

The treasure discovered by Terry Herbert, 55, from Burntwood, Staffordshire, UK, includes 5kg of gold and 2.5kg of silver.

Mr Herbert has been a metal detector for 18 years - and has used the same detector for 14 of them, purchased at a car boot sale for just £2.50, reports the Sun.

Around 1,500 gem-encrusted items, with militaria including swords, helmets, and trophies were also uncovered.

Staffordshire Mercian Kingdom haul, uncovered in July 2009
Experts predict it will take 20 years to fully analyse the Mercian Kingdom haul

The 300 items items are from the Mercian Kingdom which thrived in Staffordshire, UK, in the 7-8th century.

The treasures, according to David Rowan at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, include:

  • Part of helmet cheek piece (left in the above image)
  • "Fish and Eagles" (above and right of cheek piece)
  • NLM 567: sword fitting or dagger hilt (right of cheek piece)
  • NLM 655: folded cross (top right)
  • mount with entwined pattern within rectangle (above strip)
  • NLM 449: hilt piece with inlaid intertwining pattern (middle)
  • NLM 451: pyramid-shaped mount or sword fixing (below 449, above strip)
  • NLM 462: pyramid-shaped mount or sword fixing
  • NLM 545: stud with chequerboard pattern
  • NLM 550: folded band with Latin inscription (lower left)
  • NLM 675: small round stud
  • horse-patterned rod (lower right).

A coroner has assessed the treasure, and deemed it to be the property of the Crown.

Any find of an object over 300 years old containing gold or silver, or any find of coins at all, must be reported to a coroner for assessment.

Local councils Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent and Birmingham are appealing for grants and donations to keep the haul in the area.

But, according to the Sun, it is likely that Mr Herbert, who is unemployed for health reasons, and farmer Fred Johnson, on whose land the hoard was discovered, will still receive £1m each for the find.

The haul - the largest ever discovered in the UK - has been displayed at Birmingham Museum since September 25, attracting more than 40,000 visitors.

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