A HOARD of coins thought to date back to the 11th century has been unearthed near Oswestry.

The discovery of six Edward the Confessor Saxon silver hammered pennies – thought to be from between 1042 and 1066 AD – was made last week by Michael Heim who was visiting the area all the way from the USA.

Michael was taking part in a trip organised by Metal Detecting Holidays (MDH) – who host various trips in and around the Oswestry area – when he unearthed the treasure which has been described as a 'very rare find' in Shropshire.

Overwhelmed with the find – which included two coins minted in Shrewsbury and Chester – Michael said that the experience was very special.

"There's so much older history here than in the States," said Michael.

"I didn't know what I'd found. I told Chris and he was speechless – not just once but three times. He couldn't believe it.

"Chris hugged me, then walked away. Then came back and was speechless again.

"I don't know much about English coins but when I found out that they were Saxon coins it really got me excited.

"I'm a history lover so this is very special. Especially for someone who's come over from Texas in the States."

Chris Langston, who co-runs MDH with his business partner John Flaherty, said that the treasure was an amazing find that dates back to before the Norman Invasion.

"It's awesome. [The] find of a lifetime," said Chris.

"It's one of the best finds I've ever been a part of. I was speechless when he asked me 'what do you think this is?'.

"For any detectorist to find a Saxon coin is like the Holy Grail – but for one guy to find six in one session is relatively unheard of.

"These beautiful Saxon coins are a very rare find in Shropshire.

"This puts our part of Shropshire firmly on the Anglo-Saxon map."

And now Chris has been making arrangements for the coins to be researched thoroughly.

"We've informed the finds liaison officer Peter Reavill, who we have an appointment with next week," he added.

"He will then start the treasure process and inform the county coroner who will research the coins further."