On Monday 16th November 1992, Eric Lawes, a retired professional gardener, decided to go detecting. He moved to a part not searched, of a field on which he'd previously had no luck. Just short of three hours later a clear, non-ferrous signal welcomed him into a life of luxury. At four inches depth, a silver Roman coin appeared. Advancing the searchhead a further eight inches and digging to the same depth produced a similar coin.
Two sweeps, approximately eight inches onward, a very strong non-ferrous signal, continuing as he excavated, brought him to twelve inches down and the biggest surprise of his life.
Contained within the handful of earth he drew out of the hole were a number of Roman gold coins. Placing these to one side his second view of the excavation revealed a solid layer of gold coins. He scooped out a mixture of earth and gold coins by the handful.
Then the mixture changed to earth, gold coins and silver coins; followed by small gold bracelets, silver spoons, a long gold chain and pendant with semi-precious stones. Peering into the hole, he could see a mass of silver spoons. Eric realised that he had hit upon a very important treasure and took the appropriate action.
Eric called in the Suffolk Archaeological Unit, the landowners and the local police. Careful excavation resulted in the discovery of further precious metal objects of great archaeological significance, including; precious metal figurines, a silver lioness, bust of a human, decorated strainers, silver spoons with animal head terminals, gold bracelets, heavy jewelled chains, a gold necklace and, in total, over 14,000 gold and silver coins!
Eric was subsequently praised for the manner in which he had handled the finding of one of the greatest treasures ever found in Britain. He later received 1.75 million as a reward.