Metal detectorist discovers ancient axe in Rugby

Camerine Shanahan, Collections Officer at Rugby Art Gallery & Museum with Andy
Camerine Shanahan, Collections Officer at Rugby Art Gallery & Museum with Andy
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A metal detectorist has discovered an axe from the Bronze Age in a field in Rugby.

Andy, who lives in Rugby and works as a self-employed ground worker, found the interesting item in a field near Clifton while out metal detecting. He did not wish to specify the exact location in which he found the axe.

The copper-alloy Group II palstave axe is said to be valuable but Andy has decided to display the axe at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum rather than benefit from it financially. It is believed to be from 1500-1300 BC.

The 53-year-old said: “To find something of this age is incredible. I have spoken to the farmer and we have agreed to keep it here in Rugby rather than sell it as we believe the axe belongs in our town. It is part of our history and our heritage and should be located and preserved in our town’s museum for all to see for generations to come.”

Andy has been metal detecting for one year and this is his first big find.

“I didn’t realise it was so old and, being a digger driver, I thought it was a tooth of an old digger. On second inspection I realised it was an axe head but I never could have imagined it was 3,500 years old.”

Catherine Shanahan, Rugby Art Gallery and Museum’s collections officer, said: “We’re delighted this unique piece of history will be loaned to the Museum and look forward to putting the axe on public display later in the year.”