A TREASURE hunter unearthed a rare relic from the Middle Ages just a day after buying his first metal detector.

David Greenall, of Shore Road, Silverdale, had only been using the device for two hours when he uncovered a late Saxon silver and copper alloy mount near Carnforth.

The 38-year-old was out searching with friend Darren Webster, who made headlines last year when he found a Viking hoard near Silverdale.

“I had been out metal detecting before with Darren, using his spare detector, but I loved it that much I thought, ‘right, I am going to buy myself a proper one’,” said Mr Greenall.

“Initially I just enjoyed it because I found it fun knowing that there were things underground and that I could find them.”

Although excited by the Victorian pennies and six pence pieces that he had previously found, Mr Greenall was overwhelmed when he pulled the Saxon mount from the ground.

“I dug right past it to start with, but then something fell out the side of the hole,” said Mr Greenall. “I didn’t know what it was but I knew it wasn’t tin foil or an old coke can and Darren said ‘the museum will want that’.”

Mr Greenall said to start with he did not understand why the find was so significant, but through research he has learnt a lot about history.

“I have learnt more about history through my metal detecting than I did at school,” he said.

The silver and copper alloy mount was officially declared treasure by the deputy coroner at a treasure trove inquest in Preston. It may take a couple of months before the valuation process is complete.

Mr Greenall said although already hitting the jackpot, he will continue to go out metal detecting.

He said: “I am going to do it as much as possible, I think it’s great. And after this find, my wife doesn’t mind me going out so much!”

Sue Ashworth, the county museums collection manager, said: “This beautiful mount from the late Saxon era in the 9th Century is an important piece and would be a very welcome addition to our collection at Lancaster City Museum.

“However, it’s early days yet. We must wait until the Treasure Valuation Committee announces its valuation before we make any decisions.”