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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Barrow metal detectorist stunned by Bronze Age ‘find of a lifetime’

A LOCAL metal detectorist stumbled upon a Bronze Age “find of a lifetime” that could re-write the history of Furness.

Self-employed electrician John Hocknell, of Walney, was scouring a field in Rampside with his metal detector last December when he came across an assortment of Bronze Age weapons and tools.

The items included the remains of axes, knives, gauges and other items.

An inquest at Barrow Town Hall yesterday ruled that Mr Hocknell’s find be classed as treasure – and has been named The Rampside Hoard.

The find is in the care of the British Museum – but will eventually be transferred to The Dock Museum in North Road.

Mr Hocknell, 42, said: “It looked pretty insignificant; just lumps of bronze covered in clay at first but now I know it’s the find of a lifetime. I have been told it could re-write the history of Low Furness.”

A representative from the British Museum told Mr Hocknell that, while the hoard was relatively common in the UK, no other similar finds had been made in the Furness area.

The hoard could have been buried as an offering to the gods, or be the attempts of a metalworker to hide valuable metal tools by burying them.

Mr Hocknell says he only took up metal detecting two years ago after family and work pressure left him with little time to enjoy his favourite hobby of fishing.

He is now a member of local metal detecting club the Furness Finders, which has around 25 members.

He said: “I know people who have never found anything Bronze Age so it is a tremendous feeling.

“I have only ever found rubbish before really.”

Mr Hocknell was walking in the field when he came across an axe head.

According to the Portable Antiquities Scheme, which has examined the findings, the axe head is: “Cast copper alloy palstave dating from the Middle Bronze Age, that is c. 1400-1300BC.”

The rest of the find was classified as Late-Middle Bronze Age

The axe is classed as a single find, but the hoard was discovered a short distance away.

Mr Hocknell added: “I’m not very up on the era but the academics were getting very excited. Some of the items still have traces of wood and they want to find out what kind of timber was used.”

According to the 1996 Treasure Act, half of the monetary value of the find will go to Mr Hocknell and the rest will go to the landowner, a local farmer.

The value is expected to be several hundred pounds.

Have your say

It only takes one clown to spoil a good story well big lebosoki it wasn't made up the road it's history when it's on show go and see it
Well done john ctx 3030 strikes again !
Geoff archer
Swansea

Posted by Geoff archer on 23 June 2014 at 08:30

Rubbish they were probably made up the top yard in Vickers.;)

Posted by The Big Lebowski on 13 May 2014 at 16:33

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