A MINEHEAD treasure hunter doing someone a favour chanced upon a hoard of silver items hidden during the Civil War.

The find at Nether Stowey was probably buried for safe keeping as Royalist forces attacked the pro-Parliamentary stronghold in the early 17th Century.

It was uncovered by Arthur Haig, of West Street, who had been out metal detecting on a nearby farm when he was called over by a woman at Stowey Rock Cottages.

Speaking at an inquest in Taunton last Thursday, Mr Haig said: “It was the mother of the owner, Rebecca Baker, who asked me if I could look in her garden to find a gold charm bracelet she’d lost.

“In the course of looking for it, I came across the silver hoard in a broken ceramic pot.”

Mr Haig’s find included four silver spoons, a goblet in two parts and a bell salt in four parts, with the hallmarks dating from between 1603 to 1630.

The items, which are yet to be valued, are engraved with the letters CGA and may have belonged to Angel and Catherine Grey, the owners of Stowey Court at that time.

Somerset County Council finds liaison officer Anna Booth said the find was rare for Somerset and the County Museum is keen to acquire the items, declared treasure by West Somerset Coroner Michael Rose.

Mr Rose said the hoard was probably not concealed by the Greys, as they survived the Civil War and would have recovered it.

He felt it was more likely hidden by a servant on their behalf or by a soldier who had looted them.