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Bishop's Stortford brothers find ‘stolen treasure’ while out for a family walk in Much Hadham




Three fledgling archaeologists stumbled across an exciting mystery when they found a pillowcase filled with jewellery.

St Michaels Mead, Bishops Stortford. Twins Ben and Eddie and their brother Tom Costa Correa found a bag of jewellery in the ford at Much Hadham. .l-r: Ben (8), Eddie (8) and Tom (10) with their hoard. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (8056283)
St Michaels Mead, Bishops Stortford. Twins Ben and Eddie and their brother Tom Costa Correa found a bag of jewellery in the ford at Much Hadham. .l-r: Ben (8), Eddie (8) and Tom (10) with their hoard. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (8056283)

Brothers Tom, Ben and Eddie Costa Correa, who live in St Michael’s Mead, found the ‘treasure’ while they were playing in the ford in Much Hadham on Sunday afternoon.

The boys – pupils of Bentfield County Primary School in Stansted – were paddling in the water, examining stones and fish, when they spotted the sunken cotton sack.

Their mum, Adele, immediately feared something sinister was about to unfold. “I thought they were going to pull out body parts or dead kittens or something hideous,” she said.

Before she could stop them, 10-year-old Tom and eight-year-olds Ben and Eddie had started rummaging through the pouch. It contained about 30 items of costume jewellery.

St Michaels Mead, Bishops Stortford. Twins Ben and Eddie and their brother Tom Costa Correa found a bag of jewellery in the ford at Much Hadham. .Picture and crucifix inside one of the lockets found, the picture is water damaged. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (8056250)
St Michaels Mead, Bishops Stortford. Twins Ben and Eddie and their brother Tom Costa Correa found a bag of jewellery in the ford at Much Hadham. .Picture and crucifix inside one of the lockets found, the picture is water damaged. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (8056250)

“They were so excited, it was like finding real treasure,” said Adele. “They love a mystery – they think it’s the most amazing thing.”

The boys also found a jewellery box near where they stumbled across the pillowcase, and they are curious to see what other treasures are hidden in the stream. “They’re all desperate to go back and dredge even more,” said Adele.

She thinks that the jewellery was abandoned after being stolen in a house burglary. “None of it has any monetary value, it’s all costume, but it’s clearly of sentimental value,” she said.

Among the collection is a locket containing a photo of a man and a cross, and three vintage charm bracelets.

St Michaels Mead, Bishops Stortford. Twins Ben and Eddie and their brother Tom Costa Correa found a bag of jewellery in the ford at Much Hadham. .A charm bracelet. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (8056252)
St Michaels Mead, Bishops Stortford. Twins Ben and Eddie and their brother Tom Costa Correa found a bag of jewellery in the ford at Much Hadham. .A charm bracelet. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (8056252)

Adele believes the items have been in the ford for several years as there were coins in one of the jewellery boxes and the most recent is dated 2010.

The boys want to return the jewellery to its rightful owner, so Adele shared a picture of the locket on local social media forums in the hope that someone would recognise it and claim it as theirs.

This is not the first time the brothers have excavated hidden goodies – all three have a keen interest in, and a finely-tuned instinct for, archaeology. They have discovered Roman tiles, medieval pottery and various iron works.

Eddie is especially proud of a medieval horseshoe he found in Thorley, on the future Bishop’s Stortford South site.



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