10 Ancient Places Famous for Treasure Hunting in England

The long and eventful history of England has made it a hotbed for treasure hunting. Here are 10 places you’re most likely to dig up literal gold.

The United Kingdom is one of the most historic countries on Earth. It’s been ruled and shaped by everyone from the Celts and the Romans to the Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, and Normans. And that only covers the last 2,500 years! Britain’s history stretches back far further. The result?

It’s a literal treasure trove for history buffs. Every year, people dig up new and fascinating things—often with substantial cultural and, yes, monetary value. Here are 10 specific places in England where you’re most likely to find such buried treasures.

1. Norfolk

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

The county of Norfolk in the east of England is notorious among metal detectorists. Thanks to its long history, wealthy past, and arable soil, people unearth more historical treasures here than in any other county.

From Saxon silver coins and millennia-old pendants to actual treasure chests, the list of finds in Norfolk is long and wide-ranging. It’s also rumored that King John’s treasure is buried somewhere here.

2. Kent

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Kent is another English county (this time in the southeast) renowned for its rich history and treasure-hunting potential. It ranks second after Norfolk regarding how many historic items of value people find.

Medieval rings, gold coins, gold cups from 1700 BC, and the Canterbury Treasure (a silver hoard of Roman origin are just a few recent findings from Kent).

3. Hampshire

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

This county on England’s southern coast once formed part of the Kingdom of Wessex – an Anglo-Saxon kingdom whose rulers became kings of the entire country. With that kind of history to its name, it’s no surprise some fantastic treasures have been found here.

These include silver Anglo-Saxon ingots, gold coins from the 4th Century AD, a 1400-year-old buckle tongue, and an ornament hoard from the Bronze Age.

4. Devon and Cornwall

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

These southwestern counties are no stranger to treasure, partly because of how many ships have been wrecked off their coastlines.

For instance, in 2022, people found a hoard of 3000-year-old bronze-alloy axe heads, silver coins, and a 17th to 18th-century ring in Devon. Cornwall even has a beach called “Dollar Cove” because of how many silver dollars from a 17th-century shipwreck have washed ashore.

5. Dorset

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Right next door to Devon is Dorset. Another county that once fell within Wessex, it’s renowned for its rich history. People find so much treasure here they even have a treasure-tracking website.

Recent entries include a medieval ring, a prehistoric gold strip, and a Bronze Age hoard. You can find treasure of another kind here, too. Dorset is home to the Jurassic Coast, from which countless fossils from eons ago have emerged.

6. Wiltshire

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Just north of Dorset is Wiltshire – a county famous for its ancient monuments, including the iconic Stonehenge.

Among the treasures unearthed here in recent times are two 4000-year-old axe heads (found in 2023), a gold ring from the 17th Century (also 2023), and an award-winning hoard of 2000-year-old Iron Age cauldrons (in 2009). The list goes on!

7. Essex

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

According to the UK Government, Essex ranks 10th on the list of counties you’re most likely to find treasure. Located in the southeast (north of Kent), this was once the ancient Kingdom of Essex.

If recent finds are anything to go off, all sorts of treasures lie just beneath the surface here. In 2017, someone found a hoard of gold coins worth $12,600 (£10,000). Then, last year, a man unearthed a 1400-year-old Saxon gold ring worth $50,500 (£40,000).

8. Suffolk

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Sandwiched between Norfolk and Essex, Suffolk is a goldmine for treasure hunters. This county had the fifth-highest number of finds in the UK in 2021 and 2022.

Furthermore, this is where the infamous Sutton Hoo treasures come from. In 1939, archaeologists found an entire ship burial from the early 7th Century, complete with endless treasures from all over the world. 

9. Derbyshire/Peak District

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

The Peak District, in Derbyshire, is one of England’s most picturesque places. It’s wild, rugged, and full of old towns with fascinating histories. Treasures regularly get discovered.

For example, two years ago, someone found a 17th-century gold seal ring worth up to $37,890 (£30,000). And in 2014, a member of the public stumbled upon a hoard of Roman and Iron Age coins in a cave.

10. Yorkshire

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Yorkshire scored the seventh-largest haul of treasure found in 2021 and 2022. Located in northeast England, the history of this county stretches back to 8000 BC, when people first settled in the area after the ice age.

Incredible treasures crop up all the time here. Take the Ryedale Roman Hoard. Discovered in 2020 by two metal detectorists, this collection of Roman-era bronze works included a bust of Emperor Marcus Aurelius.

Another significant discovery from Yorkshire was the so-called West Yorkshire Hoard – seven items of remarkably well-preserved jewelry from the 7th and 11th century AD, found in 2008.


20 of the Best Cities in the United Kingdom

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

Not all cities are made equal in the United Kingdom! While all boast a long list of amenities and attractions, some are definitely worth visiting more than others. Here are 20 of the best…


35 Fascinating Facts about London

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos.

London is one of the most historic cities in the world. The result? There’s an endless list of interesting things to discover about it! Click below to read 35 of the most fascinating facts about the Big Smoke.


Author: Danny Newman

Title: Writer and Content Creator

Expertise: Travel, Digital Nomadry, Outdoors, Blogging

Danny Newman is a writer, content creator, and digital nomad from the UK. He founded the travel and lifestyle blog What’s Danny Doing, a popular resource for people seeking more adventure, self-discovery, and purpose. A nationally syndicated writer, Danny’s work features in dozens of online publications, including MSN.com and news sites across the US.