Grandad discovers 3,000-year-old Bronze Age hoard in field

David Lovett's Bronze Age hoard. Picture: Submitted by David Lovett

David Lovett's Bronze Age hoard. Picture: Submitted by David Lovett - Credit: Archant

Detectorist David Lovett's heart was racing when he texted his wife to say he had discovered a 3,000-year-old Bronze Age hoard in a Norfolk field.

Gold lockring part of hoard. Picture: David Lovett

Gold lockring part of hoard. Picture: David Lovett - Credit: Archant

The 64-year-old grandfather, from Smallburgh, had been searching for buried treasure for about 10 years without luck when he literally struck gold.

He said: 'The feeling was indescribable when I found it. To know that you have in your hands something that's not been held for 3,000 years.'

The hoard was declared as treasure at an inquest last week and it will be bought by the British Museum.

Any sale proceeds will be divided between Mr Lovett and the landowner of the field.

Socketed axe head part of hoard. Picture: David Lovett

Socketed axe head part of hoard. Picture: David Lovett - Credit: Archant


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Mr Lovett, who works for Norfolk Museums Serice as a visitor services assistant, found the collection of axe heads, chisels, knives and spears in March 2016. A gold lock (hair) ring was also found in the field at Barton Turf. The lock ring is believed to contain 82pc to 83pc gold.

Mr Lovett added: 'I had been to that field before but there had always been sheep in the middle. On this day there were no sheep.

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'The hoard was spread out over an area of about 30/40 square yards. I first picked up a couple of tiny fragments and then a bent dagger. My heart started to race, and I knew there was going to be more, and I then found another axe head.'

He called the museum service to ask if he should continue digging.

David Lovett's Bronze Age hoard. Picture: Submitted by David Lovett

David Lovett's Bronze Age hoard. Picture: Submitted by David Lovett - Credit: Archant

'They said yes, then I phoned Gressenhall, and they told me to carry on digging. I texted my wife who was at work to tell her.

'I knew they were Bronze Age because of their weight and shape. I also work at the Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth and they've got the Gorleston hoard of Bronze age artefacts there.

'They would have been expensive items in their day, and would have been buried for safe-keeping. For some reason they were never returned to.'

Mr Lovett said he would continue to carry out his 'amazing hobby'.

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