Man Sets Up Real Treasure Hunt For His Nephew After Finding Haul Of Old Coins
When you were a kid, did you ever dream of finding buried treasure in your garden?
Well, seven-year-old Edward's aunt and uncle made that dream come true for him when they buried some real 'highwayman's treasure' in the back garden of their house in Mottram - which is actually just called Mottram House - for him.
The chest contained a number of genuine old coins and a part of an old pistol that they'd discovered while renovating their 300-year-old house.
Needless to say, the youngster was enthralled by the search, and even decided - out of the goodness of his heart - to donate the treasure to a museum.
There's not many young lads who would have suggested that when confronted with a haul of buried treasure, although it wasn't quite worth the vast riches he might have hoped.
His uncle Matthew, who sent up the hunt, explained: "We got the house a few years ago and it's just short of 300 years old, and we decided to do a treasure hunt with my nephew.
"Then, we really lucked out when within a week of moving in we found an enormous bag that weight a tonne and had around 1,000 old coins in it.
"My wife's uncle was kind enough to build us a treasure chest out of bits of old scrap wood and we thought it would be an awesome idea to bury it in the garden and see how excited he would be to dig up some highwayman treasure."
Even though it's not genuine highwayman's treasure, there is a bit of history involved in the contents of the chest.
Matthew added: "The family that owned the house before we did ran a chain of arcades across the North West of England so most likely it has come out of old one-armed bandits from the '30s and '40s.
"The majority of them are from the '20s to the '60s, but there are a few Victorian ones in there from the 1880s and 1890s.
"They're not worth anything, they'd be worth more from melting them down, but that would have been a crime."
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"The village that we live in was on the old salt route between Manchester and Sheffield going back to the 12th century.
"Our back garden was all stables, and the pub opposite was a coaching inn, so people would leave their horses at our house and go to the pub and go to bed in the inn.
"Tying in with all of that, we thought it was a cool idea to have a highwayman story."
So, here's the full tale of how the mysterious treasure came to be a back garden in Mottram.
Matthew said: "We made up a story about a notorious highwayman who's horse had been killed by the guards, so he put all his treasure along with his gun into a chest and buried it in the garden.
"If he escaped from the guards then he'd come back for the treasure, but if he didn't whoever found the map could have the treasure.
"The name that I put on the map was the alias of Dick Turpin, and I put the date on the map as a couple of days before Dick Turpin was hung.
"I don't think anyone has noticed that but me, but it made me happy."
It made his nephew happy, too. Well, not every seven-year-old gets to go on a treasure hunt, right?
Matthew concluded: "He was made up with it. He's decided - rather than keep it for himself and spend it all on Pokémon stuff - he'd rather give it to a museum.
"I don't quite know where he's got that moral compass from - it's certainly not his uncle! But fair play to him, he wants to make the world a better place."
For his part, Edward said: "The hunt was pretty easy but I still had lots of excitement.
"I loved to see the amazing treasure. It was so much fun! I enjoyed it 101% loads!"
Matthew and his wife have been renovating their old Georgian country house and sharing their results on Instagram - go and check it out, because that's pretty cool, too.
Featured Image Credit: Matthew Jack