Golden dreams for man with the golden metal detector

The man who discovered an Anglo-Saxon hoard with his metal detector said he dug up so much gold he was seeing the precious metal in his sleep afterwards.

Terry Herbert, from Burntwood, Staffordshire, unearthed his find on the afternoon of July 5 this year.

The 55-year-old spent the next five days scouring a stretch of Staffordshire farmland and digging up pieces of an archaeological puzzle already sparking debate among experts.

He said: "Imagine you're at home and somebody keeps putting money through your letterbox, that was what it was like.

"I was going to bed and in my sleep I was seeing gold items.

"As soon as I closed my eyes I saw gold patterns, I didn't think it was ever going to end.

"I just kept thinking of what I might find the next day."

Mr Herbert bought his first metal detector 18 years ago from a car boot sale for just £2.50.

His hobby is now set to bring him a substantial return, after he discovered the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found.

The financial worth of the hoard may take many months to assess, but once a valuation and sale have been completed, the market value of the find will go to Mr Herbert and the owner of the farmland where it was discovered.

The pair have agreed to split the sum in half and Mr Herbert, who is unemployed, plans to spend his share of the reward on a bungalow.

He said: "It's been more fun than winning the lottery.

"People laugh at metal detectorists. I've had people go past and go 'beep beep, he's after pennies'.

"Well no, we are out there to find this kind of stuff and it is out there.

"People have said it (the hoard) was bigger than Sutton Hoo and one expert said it was like finding Tutankhamen's tomb.

"I just flushed all over when he said that. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up, you just never expect this."

Mr Herbert, a member of a metal detecting club in Staffordshire, said the scale of his discovery soon became a burden.

He said: "I was excited when I started digging up the gold but it was frightening in the end.

"I was getting frightened about other people getting onto the field, night hawkers.

"It was like a burden on my shoulders, it became a worry."

The discovery has excited historians and archaeologists - with many predicting it will redefine perceptions of Anglo-Saxon England.

Deb Klemperer, local history collections officer at Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Staffordshire, said: "My first view of the hoard brought tears to my eyes - the Dark Ages in Staffordshire have never looked so bright nor so beautiful.

"This incredible find will sit alongside numerous collections of archaeological remains which are interpreted within the context of the geological, natural and social history of our area."

Ian Wykes, an archaeologist who leads Staffordshire County Council's Historic Environment Team, said: "I think for any archaeologist this is the find of a lifetime and reaffirms why you became an archaeologist in the first place.

"It was only when I saw the treasure still in the ground that it started to sink in.

"To be the first person to see an object since it was buried, and exactly as it would have last been seen, is a real privilege."

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
i100
Sport
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
boxing
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments