Treasure

Objects which may qualify as treasure must be reported to the Coroner for the area where the object was found. You can find more information about the Treasure Act, including an explanation of what finds are classed as treasure, on the Portable Antiquities Scheme website.

Looking for artefacts

You must get permission from the landowner before you search for objects, with or without a metal detector. This applies to commons, footpaths and beaches too. It’s a good idea to get permission in writing, with a map showing the areas you are allowed to search. You should also discuss what will happen to any objects you find.

Some sites are protected and can’t be searched even with the landowner’s permission, for example Scheduled Ancient Monuments.

More advice is available on the Portable Antiquities Scheme website.

If you find an item which might be treasure

You must report all discoveries of potential treasure within 14 days of the day of discovery, or within 14 days of the day on which you realised it might be treasure, for example after having it identified.

It’s a criminal offence if you fail to do this. 

If you think you may have found an item of treasure or any archaeological object, contact the Finds Liaison Officer.