Woman finds treasure chest full of coins on Norfolk beach

Jennie Fitzgerald, from Sprowston, with the treasure chest, and its contents, that she found on a No

Jennie Fitzgerald, from Sprowston, with the treasure chest, and its contents, that she found on a North Norfolk beach. Picture: Lauren De Boise - Credit: Lauren De Boise

Beach cleans usually turn up bags full of rubbish but for one Norfolk woman it turned up a haul a pirate would be proud of.

Jennie Fitzgerald, from Norwich, travelled to north Norfolk to take part in a beach clean on Sunday, March 20, when she made the unlikely discovery.

A treasure chest and its contents which were found on a North Norfolk beach by Jennie Fitzgerald. Pi

A treasure chest and its contents which were found on a North Norfolk beach by Jennie Fitzgerald. - Credit: Lauren De Boise

While searching for litter between Cart Gap and Happisburgh, Mrs Fitzgerald spotted something hiding behind a mound of sand which turned out to be a chest full of old coins and other trinkets. 

Mrs Fitzgerald, 38, said: "I've never found anything like this on a beach before. Normally I'm looking for sea glass and shells so it was incredible to find something like this.

A ring which was part of the contents of a treasure chest found on a North Norfolk beach by Jennie F

A ring which was part of the contents of a treasure chest found on a North Norfolk beach by Jennie Fitzgerald. - Credit: Lauren De Boise

"I found the chest at the bottom of the cliffs behind a raised bank. It was covered in sand but is in fairly good condition considering how old it is."

Mrs Fitzgerald, who works as a medical secretary at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, had to carry the heavy chest two miles back to Sea Palling where her family was waiting.

Jennie Fitzgerald, from Sprowston, with the treasure chest, and its contents, that she found on a No

Jennie Fitzgerald, from Sprowston, with the treasure chest, and its contents, that she found on a North Norfolk beach. Picture: Lauren De Boise - Credit: Lauren De Boise

Upon returning home, Mrs Fitzgerald, along with her two children, began carefully cleaning the sand away from the chest with toothbrushes.

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"The chest was locked shut but the bottom had started to fall off so we were able to take out its contents carefully.

"We found about 100 coins, mostly Victorian and some dated to George III's reign but there were also others that looked to be medieval and Roman.

Some of the contents of a treasure chest that Jennie Fitzgerald found on a North Norfolk beach. Pict

Some of the contents of a treasure chest that Jennie Fitzgerald found on a North Norfolk beach. - Credit: Lauren De Boise

"My kids think they are going to be rich."

As well as the coins, the chest also held a collection of gems, a rusted pocket watch, an old perfume bottle, a signet ring and a silver matchstick holder that had been engraved with the name 'Ernest'.

Aside from the engraving Mrs Fitzgerald said there wasn't any other traceable evidence inside.

She is currently awaiting a response from experts who will hopefully be able to provide more detail about the finds.

Jennie Fitzgerald, from Sprowston, with some of the contents of a treasure chest that she found on a

Jennie Fitzgerald, from Sprowston, with some of the contents of a treasure chest that she found on a North Norfolk beach. - Credit: Lauren De Boise

A treasure chest and its contents which were found on a North Norfolk beach by Jennie Fitzgerald. Pi

A treasure chest and its contents which were found on a North Norfolk beach by Jennie Fitzgerald. - Credit: Lauren De Boise

Norwich woman finds chest full of coins on Happisburgh beach

A rusted key found inside a chest discovered on a beach in north Norfolk - Credit: Jennie Fitzgerald

Norwich woman finds chest full of coins Happisburgh north Norfolk

A broach found inside a chest discovered between Cart Gap and Happisburgh beach - Credit: Jennie Fitzgerald

Some of the contents of a treasure chest that Jennie Fitzgerald found on a North Norfolk beach. Pict

Some of the contents of a treasure chest that Jennie Fitzgerald found on a North Norfolk beach. - Credit: Lauren De Boise

Here are some other moments when people have found treasure in Norfolk.