Ancient gold bars found at construction site

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:

Wikipedia section on Alderley Gold page on Alderley Treasure
The Artists Lane treasure

April Fools


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Ian Daglish
Friday 1st April 2011 at 8:28 am
This story highlights the importance of proper archaeological survey before and during any major excavations on or around the Edge. We are all sitting on 4,000 years of industrial activity. Recent housing developments around the Edge have uncovered (and swiftly covered up again!) ancient mine diggings. Just under the surface of our ordinary 1970s back garden we have discovered a wealth of material dating back over a century, social history preserved over time, and uncovered a previously forgotten well with features which may be centuries old.
Craig Wilson
Friday 1st April 2011 at 8:35 am
I found a huge alien space craft in my back garden when I dug a hole. It also had a note with it, asking for it to be returned if found.
Jennifer Basnett
Friday 1st April 2011 at 8:41 am
Well done... Nearly had me there!!
Karen Taylor
Friday 1st April 2011 at 8:56 am
Love it Lisa. Well done. It's a great wheeze for today.
Jaki Pariser
Friday 1st April 2011 at 8:57 am
I think they ALL belong to me... my cat buried them last week. Please return, thank-you.
Peter Harris
Friday 1st April 2011 at 9:20 am
HAD me! Well done Martin - note to self - pay more attention to the date!
Kelvin Briggs
Friday 1st April 2011 at 9:23 am
Ah, Fools gold. Nice smile to start the day ;)
Jeremy Bygrave
Friday 1st April 2011 at 9:40 am
Happy April Fools!
Kay Gilmore
Friday 1st April 2011 at 9:57 am
Urmh?? Isn't today April fools day??? You nearly got me there!! excellent!!
Kriss Coombes
Friday 1st April 2011 at 10:01 am
Maybe it's connected to that other ancient relic... April Fool's Day?
Mike Barry
Friday 1st April 2011 at 10:03 am
I'm really not surprised. Only 3 weeks ago whilst cleaning out the pond I picked up what looked like a piece of rusty iron only to spot, having a trained eye, that is was in fact molbydenum. Just incredible the rich seam of metals and minerals in and around the Edge.
Fraser Pemberton
Friday 1st April 2011 at 10:07 am
Does this mean we can expect even more gold diggers heading to Alderley ??
Louise Mason
Friday 1st April 2011 at 10:11 am
I won't say what I found on the allotment last weekend when I was preparing this year's pumpkin patch..... (just heading off to the Caribbean for the weekend) ;o)
Darren Parkinson
Friday 1st April 2011 at 10:13 am
I fell for that for while!!
Giles Geddes
Friday 1st April 2011 at 10:25 am
Spaghetti harvest?
John Moylan
Friday 1st April 2011 at 10:26 am
They're mine; I lost them about a year ago and have been searching for them since. Could you please arrange for them to be returned to me. Thanks to you all for alerting me and to show my appreciation, there's a reward of a shiny new penny for the finder.
Ricky Lee
Friday 1st April 2011 at 10:27 am
Ha Ha Lisa, nearly been had!
Nick Howorth
Friday 1st April 2011 at 10:33 am
I'm a little bit suspicious. It is April 1st!
Giles Geddes
Friday 1st April 2011 at 10:34 am
Bravo! I'll be spending my windfall on a Spaghetti tree.
Ian Daglish
Friday 1st April 2011 at 10:35 am
STOP PRESS! Seven small gentlemen have just been spotted on Swiss Hill carrrying mattocks and shovels and antique lanterns, laughing and singing,
'Hi ho, hi ho,
It's off to town we go,
The Chinese bought the mineral rights,
Hi ho, hi ho.'
Robert Montgomery
Friday 1st April 2011 at 11:00 am
Very interesting. Could this story have something to do with the calendar?
Jill Millen
Friday 1st April 2011 at 11:01 am
Surely this is an April Fool! - am I the only one who thinks are having a laugh!
Duncan Marr
Friday 1st April 2011 at 11:02 am
Were these gold bars found under a spaghetti tree?
Mandy Parr
Friday 1st April 2011 at 11:20 am
I think it might be Aprils fool!!!!!!! very funny.
Martin Reeves
Friday 1st April 2011 at 12:12 pm
I hope my April Fool's joke managed to amuse some of you out there - it has managed to keep me entertained all morning!

As midday has now passed I have published all the comments I have been holding back which gave the game away.

Here is a round up of some my favourite April Fool's stories:

Portugal sells Ronaldo to Spain in €160m deal on national debt

Google's 2011 April Fools' Day prank: Introducing Gmail Motion

April Fools' Day 2011

And here is The Top 100 April Fool's Day Hoaxes of All Time
Debby Hitchmough
Friday 1st April 2011 at 4:02 pm
Not found any (April Fools ) gold bars during our excavation during building works, or spaghetti trees, but have found a very clear, seemingly endless water supply coming from, who knows where, in a small cast iron pipe (Yes cast iron?) at least 3 feet underground, leading under the house.......
Sean Atkinson
Sunday 3rd April 2011 at 8:44 pm
Oh nooooooooooooooo I just spent all my savings! What Martin please tell me this story is true!
Graham McLelland
Wednesday 6th April 2011 at 11:51 am
Brilliant April fools joke but it highlighted one thing how little many people know about the area in which they live, hence no one picked up the "hoards of gold diggers". Chorlegh was an old name for this area but in 1086 it was mentioned as ALDEREDELIE.
Martin Reeves
Wednesday 6th April 2011 at 12:52 pm
Hi Graham, I was aware of the alternative name but what I could not find out how old the gold bars that were actually found in the 90s were believed to be. On that basis I thought I would go with Chorlegh as more people will be familiar with it as a previous name for the village.

Alderley Edge really does have a fascinating history. For anyone that has an interest in learning a little more about the history of the area there is a great deal of information on Wikipedia at