A HOARD of of 14th century coins believed to have been hidden by English soldiers en route to battle have been found in a farmer’s field.

Amateur metal detectors uncovered the medieval English hammered silver coins, which date back to prehistoric times, near Dunning, Perthshire, The dig also uncovered two silver Roman coins from the 1st century.

Other artefacts unearthed included a spindle whorl (weight) from a medieval spinning loom, a 17th century spectacle buckle, several musket balls and a hand cannon.

The event was organised by DetectingScotland.com, the biggest metal detecting club in Scotland, and is thought to have been the first in the area.

Administrator Grant Maxwell said it provided indications of “military presence” or movement of soldiers locally Mr Maxwell added: “There have been battles in this area, so these English coins could have been stashed by English soldiers on their way to battle, although we don’t know which battle.”

The first of 16 medieval coins to be found were discovered by Colin Mclldowie and his son, Stuart, 16, from Erskine, who is studying metal detecting for his Duke of Edinburgh Award Mr Maxwell said: “The lad and his dad found the first hammered silver coins, they were possibly in a purse, or a vessel, that was below the top of the plough line, so the lion’s share could be a wee bit deeper.”

Sinclair Yates brought along his wife Carol to her first dig and she found the first Roman coin of the day, dating to the first century. Then club member Bruno Potts went on find  a second one.

Mr Maxwell said: “Sinclair handed his wife the machine and she and found a Roman silver denarius coin straight away. It’s quite exciting, we don’t get this very often.”

Historian Catherine Gillies said it was common for people to bury coins and other items en route to battle.

Ms Gillie added: “Sixteen coins might not seems very much but in the 14th century it could have been someone’s personal wealth. For all the ones found, there are the ones people did return for.”

They will be reported to the Treasure Trove in Edinburgh because they are believed to be more than 300 years old.

Meanwhile, three bronze axe heads dating back moe than 4,000 years are among items to be found by amateur metal detector enthusiasts at the Ardkinglas Estate near Cairndow, in Argyll.