In December 2012, 60-year-old Tempus Member, Graham Withers, who formally ran the clubs meeting place – The Church House Inn on Buxton Road in Congleton, found a small hoard in a field in North Staffordshire.
The 10 valuable pennies – dating back roughly 900 years – have attracted the interest of experts at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery after being declared as treasure.
The coins are the first of their kind discovered in the county.
Mr Withers discovered them spread out across an area of a few square metres.
He suspected a larger store may have been disturbed by a tractor when the field was ploughed during the previous summer.
He said that although he suspected there could be far more treasure, he could not find anything more with his E- Trac metal detector, which only scan could roughly 12 inches down. Graham has recently upgraded to a Blisstool V5.
Graham also told how the area was too wide and he was not able to dig deeper.
Teresa Gilmore, finds liaison officer at Birmingham Museum, confirmed the coins had been examined by medieval currency expert Barrie Cook, and had been confirmed as short cross pennies from between the reigns of Henry II and Henry III.
With a number of different coins among the 10 items discovered, she said the suspicion was that the coins were part of a larger hoard, rather than items lost or dropped.
“The profile is a bit odd for a hoard of this size,” she said.
“The profile would fit with them being part of a larger assemblage.”
Ms Gilmore said experts had yet to excavate the site to hunt for a larger hoard, but similar finds elsewhere in the country contained hundreds of items.
However, she cautioned that the number of coins discovered made it difficult for experts to be sure about further finds.
She said: “Ten coins is a very small sample size – it’s hard to be definite.”
The coroner’s court heard how experts from the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery were now considering whether they could put the items on display.
North Staffordshire coroner Ian Smith: “I’m more than content to make an order that all of these 10 coins are treasure, within the meaning of the Treasure Act.”Presumably some compensation will come in due course.”
There is some sad news regarding the hoard. A former colleague of Graham’s attended the site with him and also found an 11th coin. When contacted by the finds liaison officer, the gentleman in question denied any knowledge of the coin, or his involvement in detecting the site. The landowner also reported to Graham of potential “Night hawking” at the site after the find and before the report to finds liaison was made.