Lune Valley probe finds 800-year-old coin

A hobby detectorist is happy about his latest find, which has been lying undisturbed for almost 800 years.

Matthew Hepworth discovered a Henry III shortcross penny estimated to have been minted at Canterbury between 1222 and 1236 by a moneyer named Simon in the Carnforth area.

“It’s only my second discovery of this type, and oddly enough it doesn’t qualify as treasure because it was a single coin,” he said.

The Treasure Act 1996 legally defines what is classified as treasure and in this case the relevant clause states that to be classified as treasure: “if found is one of at least two coins in the same find which is at least 300 years old at that time and have that percentage (10%) precious metal.”

Matthew, from Bare, Morecambe, said: ‘The irony is that over the years I have made many finds from this particular area.

“It was near the gate so I walked over it many times. It’s so strange how you can miss these targets.
“First of all, you need permission from the landowners to investigate on their land. I always keep him informed so I built a collection for him so that it is a joint property between me and the landowner.”

Matthew said he does most of his investigations in the Carnforth area with friend David Kierzek – and has had a lot of luck lately.

“I’ve been detecting for 30 years now. I’m a member of the Lune Valley Detecting Club and we had a good year for finds last year,” he said.

“I usually go exploring with David and we found another section of Viking silver that was first discovered in 1997 and is in the Lancaster Museum.

“We found the rest and it is currently being worked on through the usual official channels – it will be public soon.
“Another of our best finds was a hoard of 28 Roman silver coins, but that wasn’t in our area, that was in the Midlands.

“We found a Bronze Age burial site in the area last year, and we found a horde of metalwork on a hilltop, and we found a burial site with bones in an inverted urn, estimated to be around 1800 BC.

Matthew says they often do an unexpected service to chastised spouses.

“I found wedding rings last year for people who had lost them – we look in their gardens and nearby and often find them,” he said.

“It’s just a hobby, but it’s really easy to get involved with.

“It keeps you mentally and physically fit and you never know what you might find.”

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