The Portable Antiquities Scheme

Iron Age gold coin, found in Tiverton, Cheshire. Roman silver finger ring with engraved cornelian stone, found in Farndon, Cheshire. Medieval lead pilgrim's badge of John the Baptist, found in Nantwich, Cheshire. Medieval lead pilgrim's ampulla, found in Henhull, Cheshire. This late 16th century bone knife handle was found in a stream in Malham, North Yorkshire and brought to National Museums Liverpool for identification. Post-Roman gold finger ring, found in Worleston, Cheshire. Roman iron key, found in Tilstone Fearnall , Cheshire. Silver denarius of the Roman Emperor Trajan (98-117 AD), found in Bebington, Wirral. Roman military buckle, found in Tiverton, Cheshire. Roman finds discovered in the Wirral by members of the West Kirby Metal Detecting Club: part of a clothes fastener, gilded plate brooch, 2nd century AD, bronze 'nummus' coin of Emperor Constantius II, 323-361 AD and bow brooch, late 1st-2nd century AD. Selection of objects found by local metal detecting enthusiasts and recorded with the Portable Antiquities Scheme. Top row: 'Wirral' type Roman bow brooch, 2nd century AD (Cheshire), Iron Age sword scabbard circa 200BC (Cheshire), Roman 'trumpet' type brooch, late 1st-2nd century AD (Cheshire), 'Wirral' type Roman bow brooch, 2nd century AD (Liverpool) and Roman bow brooch, late 1st-2nd century AD (Cheshire). Bottom row: Bronze 'nummus' of Emperor Theodosius 379-395 AD (Cheshire), Roman Pottery lamp (Cheshire) and Roman Republican denarius, 50 BC (Wirral).

The Portable Antiquities Scheme is a voluntary recording scheme for archaeological objects found by members of the public. Every year thousands of objects are discovered, many by metal detector users, but also by people whilst out walking, gardening or going about their daily work. Such discoveries offer an important source for understanding our past.

Examples of objects found by members of the public, including members of West Kirby Metal Detecting Club , and recorded with the North West branch of the Portable Antiquities Scheme are shown above. Roman finds are fairly common whereas finds from the Iron Age period are unusual.

22 flattened pieces of silver jewellery decorated with stamped patternsOn display

The Huxley Hoard is a collection of Viking silver discovered near Huxley in Cheshire in 2004.

The hoard is owned jointly by Chester Grosvenor Museum, Cheshire Museums Service and National Museums Liverpool and is usually on display in the History Detectives gallery.

The Treasure Act

All finders of gold and silver objects, and groups of coins from the same finds over 300 years old, have a legal obligation to report such items under the Treasure Act 1996. Now prehistoric base-metal assemblages found after 1 January 2003 also qualify as treasure. Your local Finds Liaison Officer is happy to help you deal with the paperwork and explain the treasure process to you.

You can learn more about the Treasure Act on the Portable Antiquities Scheme website.

Finds liaison officer

The scheme's regional finds liaison officer, covering Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside, is based at National Museums Liverpool. 

If you want to find out more about the scheme or report a find please contact:

Heather Beeton
Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside Finds Liaison Officer
Museum of Liverpool
Mann Island
Liverpool Waterfront 
Liverpool L3 1DG

Finds surgery

curator looking at an object with a visitor

If you have an interesting find that you would like to find out more about, you could bring it to the Museum of Liverpool on the third Wednesday of every month, except August and December. The finds liaison officer will be available for identifying and recording finds. Bring your item or a good photograph of it. 

Booking is essential, ring 0151 478 4063 or email using this contact form to book your place.

See the Archaeology events page for further details of this and other events.

Further information

Find out more at the Portable Antiquities Scheme website.  

The Cheshire county pages on the Portable Antiquites scheme website include information about the archaeology of the area and key finds.

Look at finds from your area or all over the country on the Portable Antiquities database .

Portable Antiquities Scheme logo