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In the hit BBC TV show Detectorists, a pair of treasure hunters played by Mackenzie Crook and Toby Jones eventually discover some gold with their gadgets.

But real-life hoards found by history buffs or by accident are even more amazing than TV troves.

Last week 122 Anglo-Saxon pennies sold for more than £325,000 after being unearthed by a metal detecting duo in Essex after being been buried there in 1066 – the year of the Battle of Hastings.

Here, James Moore reveals some other rich pickings…

Car booty

When Terry Herbert bought a metal detector at a car boot sale for £2.50, he could never have imagined it would help him discover Britain’s largest stash of Anglo-Saxon treasure. He turned up the £3.3million haul, known as the Staffordshire Hoard, on farmer land near Lichfield in 2009. It contained a whopping 4,600 gold and silver items.

Terry Herbert discovered over £3m worth of Anglo-Saxon treasure(Image: PA)

Digging for victory

Back in 1949 Bulgarian brothers Pavel, Petko and Michail Deikov were digging for clay at a tile factory near the town of Panagyurishte when they came across a feast of gold objects from the 3rd and 4th centuries BC, believed to have belonged to Thracian royalty. The objects included an incredible embossed gold dish and are now in a museum.

Tool good

When Eric Lawes went to look for his pal’s lost hammer using his metal detector in 1992, near Hoxne, Suffolk, he had a shock. The retired gardener hit upon nearly 15,000 Roman silver and gold coins and 200 other objects including a silver pepper pot in the shape of a woman. It was valued at £1.75million. He also found the missing mallet.

Retired gardener Eric Lawes, (left) who uncovered 15,000 Roman silver and gold coins(Image: PA Archive/PA Images)

Norse bad

Metal detectorist Derek McLennan found a huge Viking hoard of 100 gold, silver and crystal objects in 2014 in Scotland known as the Galloway Hoard which was valued at £2million. More Viking treasures were uncovered by metal detectorists David and Andrew Whelan who found over 600 silver coins in the Vale of York in 2007 worth around £1million. The Watlington Hoard of Viking silver found in 2015 was valued at £1.35million

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