Exclusive: A chest containing over 100 ancient gold bars, one of which is pictured above, were found yesterday morning (Thursday 31st March) in Alderley Edge during excavation at a construction site.
Several ancient gold bars have been found in Alderley over the years but nothing compared with this very significant discovery.
Back in 1992 a gold bar was found in an earth bank at the side of Artists Lane. Because this bar was obviously old and consisted of gold, a treasure trove inquest was held.
Following this inquest it was reported in the national press on February 27th 1993 and crowds of people descended on the Edge hoping to find their own gold bars. As a result of all the searching 4 more gold bars were found during the 1990's. It also came to light that another gold bar was found in the 1960's but was not reported to the authorities until 1997.
According to our source 142 gold bars have been discovered, with the largest weighing 103 grams - based on information from Wikipedia, detailing the gold bars previously found, this is the largest gold bar found to date in Alderley Edge.
The exact composition of the gold bars is unknown but previous finds were on average 72% gold, 12% silver and 16% copper.
This latest find bears a striking similarity to a number of other gold bars found in Alderley. If you browse through the photo gallery above we have included photos of some of the bars discovered in the 1990's. These photographs suggest they were all made by pouring the gold into a mould, then once each bar had solidified it was stamped using some sort of shaped tool and a hammer.
We understand that the gold bars discovered yesterday are now in the posession of the Principal Conservation Officer (Archaeology) for Cheshire East Council. However, the council declined to comment when we contacted them seeking further information.
We have already been contacted by a number of journalists from the national press so we expect another frenzy of people to descend on Alderley Edge, hoping to find gold over the coming days and weeks.
We will bring you more information as soon as we can, but for obvious reasons the location of the construction site needs to remain confidential at this stage.
Update (8:02am): We have now heard back from the council and it would appear that the chest contains a deed bequeathing its contents to the parishioners of Chorlegh which is the ancient name for Alderley Edge. Whilst we have no idea of the potential value of the gold found it will should mean each resident of Alderley Edge is inline to receive a significant windfall payment.
Here are a few links with information on the gold bars found in the 1990's: