UK metal detectorist’s £30K discovery

Record find in Shropshire hills

Autioneer's scale image of Hiro's nugget. Credit:

A chance find by a treasure seeker in the Shropshire Hills has revealed the largest gold nugget ever unearthed on English soil, valued at £30,000 – £40,000.

Despite a malfunctioning metal detector, Richard Brock, aged 67, from Somerset, found the precious item during an organised search on farmland near Much Wenlock in 2023.

Luck despite technical troubles

According to a report from the Shropshire Star Richard turned up an hour late for the meeting. As if that wasn’t enough he came with equipment that barely worked.

The prospects didn’t bode well compared to his fellow treasure hunters who were equipped with the latest technology.

‘At first I just found a few rusty old tent pegs with this back-up detector which had a fading screen display. But after only 20 minutes of scanning the ground I found this nugget buried about five or six inches down in the ground,’ he recalled.

His discovery, weighing 64.8g and named ‘Hiro’s Nugget’, quickly attracted attention from fellow enthusiasts.

Discovery against all odds

The presence of a gold nugget in such an unlikely location puzzled many. The area, known for its prehistoric ocean bed and connection to gold-rich Wales, presented the perfect conditions for Brock’s find.

The gold nugget, now deemed the largest in England surpassing a 54g find, was made on land with historical significance, likely an old road or track.

‘The last one which claimed to be bigger in England was 54 grams but mine is 64.8 grams, so we’re pretty confident its the biggest found on English soil,’ Brock stated.

Golden opportunity

The find was promptly reported to the finds liaison officer, who confirmed Brock could proceed as he wished. Opting for an auction, Brock plans to share the proceeds with the landowner.

The online auction, hosted by Mullock Jones, runs until April 1, with expectations of significant interest due to the nugget’s rarity and beauty.

‘We are expecting considerable interest in this item. It is a rare opportunity to acquire a stunning golden nugget,’ said Ben Jones of the auctioneers.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.