A TREASURE hunter from Somerset has unearthed the largest gold nugget ever found in England.

Richard Brock discovered the valuable find despite having a faulty metal detector.

Richard, aged 67, travelled three-and-a-half hours from his home in Somerset to join an organised expedition on farmland in the Shropshire Hills.

On arrival found he had difficulty with his detecting kit and had to resort to using a dodgy old machine that wasn't even working properly.

Moments later Richard, who has been metal detecting for 35 years, discovered the 64.8g golden nugget.

Named ‘Hiro’s Nugget’, the metal lump is now set to fetch at least £30,000 at auction as it is believed to be the biggest find of its kind on English soil.

Dad-of-four Richard said: "I have been metal detecting since 1989 and I decided to join the trip as a previous one to Australia was cancelled during the pandemic.

"So I drove three-and-a-half hours to Shropshire and I actually arrived about an hour late, thinking I'd missed the action.

"Everyone there had all this up-to-date kit and I bowled up with three old machines, and one of them packed in there and then.

"At first I just found a few rusty old tent pegs with this back-up detector which had a fading screen display.

"But after only 20 minutes of scanning the ground I found this nugget about five of six inches down in the ground.

"I was perhaps a bit too honest and started showing people, and then all of a sudden I had swarms of other detectorists scanning the same area.

"The machine I was using was pretty much kaput - it was only half working. It just goes to show that it doesn’t really matter what equipment you use.

"If you are walking over the find and are alert enough to what might be lurking underneath the soil, that makes all the difference.

"I couldn't believe it. I turned up late, was only there a matter of minutes and this treasure hunting expedition was supposed to last all day.

"I couldn't look for anything else as I had the land owner, the organiser of the dig and every other detectorist around me trying to get a look at this nugget."

Just what a gold nugget was doing in the Shropshire Hills, near Much Wenlock, remains somewhat of a mystery.

But parts such as the Wenlock Edge are an ancient landscape that was once under a prehistoric ocean and hunters often find remnants of coral in the area.

There was also large amount of rock which originally came from Wales – a country known to be rich in gold.

Richard's discovery was made on a site believed to have been an old track or road with railway lines running through, containing stone possibly distributed from Wales.

The only previous bigger examples in Britain have been found in Wales and Scotland. The Douglas Nugget found in Perthshire weighed 85.7g, another from the shores of Anglesey weighed 97.12g and The Reunion Nugget found in Scotland in 2019 weighed 121.3g.

Retired cameraman Richard added: "Upon doing some research, we could only find bigger than this in Anglesey, in Wales, and Scotland.

"The last one which claimed to be bigger in England was 54 grams but mine is 64.8 grams, so we're pretty confident its the biggest found on English soil."

Richard, who found the nugget in May, is auctioning it and will split the cash with the landowner.