A METAL detecting enthusiast from Redditch has uncovered Worcestershire's largest ever archaeological hoard.

Jethro Carpenter found almost 4,000 Roman coins at Bredon Hill near Evesham - a major significance not only for the county but also the country.

Mr Carpenter, 43, was walking with friend Mark Gilmore when their metal detectors registered 'overload'.

For two hours the pair excavated the area by hand, unearthing coin after coin before alerting the relevant authorities to the amazing find.

Mr Carpenter said: "As a child you watch pirate films and dream of finding buried treasure but the truth is that as a metal detector enthusiast you can hunt for months on end and find nothing so much as a dropped penny.

“I've known the Bredon Hill area for more than 20 years and taken my detector there countless times so never in a million years did I expect to come across such a find.

“On the day of the discovery, my detector was down for no more than five minutes when it started to make a high-pitched noise, indicating a lot of buried metal below foot.

“It was so exciting, my heart was racing as they just kept on appearing and I could see the head of an emperor visible indicating they were Roman.”

What they actually found was 3,784 coins depicting a total of 16 different Roman Emperors.

Since the discovery, which took place in June, experts from Worcestershire County Council Historic Environment and Archaeology Service have undertaken an assessment of the site and uncovered evidence of a Roman settlement.

Mr Carpenter added: "This find is of major significance not only for Worcestershire but also nationally and I am so proud to have been involved with this important discovery."

The majority of the coins are currently with the British Museum for conservation and research.

However, a selection will be showcased at Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum until November 26.