All items shown were found locally.

Metal Detecting and finding artefacts by Field Walking are fascinating pastimes or hobbies. Whether you are already experienced in this field or a beginner, please read this leaflet carefully.

Field Walking costs nothing but time and energy and can result in all sorts of interesting finds.

Metal detecting is an absorbing hobby, once frowned upon by Archaeologists, now embraced to a certain extent. Please read this leaflet carefully to ensure that your activity is legal. For those that are ‘starters’ it is unfortunate, but, unless you pay ’good’ money for your machine you are unlikely to get much of a result. Be prepared to spend hundreds rather than tens of pounds.

If you are uncertain of the quality or identity of your finds and are loath to approach the correct authority, try us. We will be able to establish enough to know if your find is important and what it is.

Above all else, especially in this area, do not attempt to dig out anything that looks even remotely like it might be ammunition or a bomb. Contact the Police immediately, do not be tempted to move or take home any object like this. It is illegal to be in possession of any form of Ammunition, Explosive or Firearm no matter how you came by it.

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Important Information

All ‘amateur detecting’ activities are forbidden by law on MOD property, SSSI sites, Crown Properties, Registered and known Archaeological sites, Scheduled Ancient Monuments and Forestry Commission property including Thetford Forest. If requested, permission will not be given.

It must be clearly understood that ’Field Walking’, ‘Metal Detecting’ and ‘Night Hawking’, which are all terms for searching for artefacts, are all illegal unless:-
You have the express permission of the owner of the property on which you are operating, preferably in writing, and it is not one of the types mentioned in paragraph one.
Removing anything from any property that you do not own, without permission, is theft even if just picked up on a footpath.

If field walking or detecting

Whatever you find it is important to record exactly where you found it.
If you find anything that you think is important or that you can not identify, do not attempt to clean it. Contact Norfolk Historic Environment Service for advice on what action should be taken –  Tel: 01362 869282, email:

The Portable Antiquities Scheme is a DCMS funded project to encourage the voluntary recording of archaeological objects found by members of the public in England and Wales. This is a very good and important site for enthusiasts.


The following finds are Treasure under the Act, if found after 24 September 1997 (or, in the case of category 2, if found after 1 January 2003):

  1. Any metallic object, other than a coin, provided that at least 10 per cent by weight of metal is precious metal (that is, gold or silver) and that it is at least 300 years old when found. If the object is of prehistoric date it will be Treasure provided any part of it is precious metal.
    2. Any group of two or more metallic objects of any composition of prehistoric date that come from the same find (see below)
    3. All coins from the same find provided they are at least 300 years old when found (but if the coins contain less than 10 per cent of gold or silver there must be at least ten of them). Only the following groups of coins will normally be regarded as coming from the same find:
    (a) hoards that have been deliberately hidden
    (b) smaller groups of coins, such as the contents of purses, that may been dropped or lost
    (c) votive or ritual deposits.
  2. Any object, whatever it is made of, that is found in the same place as, or had previously been together with, another object that is Treasure.
  3. Any object that would previously have been treasure trove, but does not fall within the specific categories given above. Only objects that are less than 300 years old, that are made substantially of gold or silver, that have been deliberately hidden with the intention of recovery and whose owners or heirs are unknown will come into this category. Note: An object or coin is part of the ‘same find’ as another object or coin if it is found in the same place as, or had previously been together with, the other object. Finds may have become scattered since they were originally deposited in the ground.

What should I do if I find something that may be Treasure?

You must report all finds of Treasure to a coroner for the district in which they are found either within 14 days after the day on which you made the discovery or within 14 days after the day on which you realised the find might be treasure.

Information correct at the time of writing.