A father and son have found 14 Bronze Age axe heads whilst metal detecting in a field near Dorchester.

Martin Turner, a farm maintenance manager from Dorchester, and his son Rhys were out metal detecting on one of the fields that Martin works on.

They uncovered a haul of 14 Bronze Age axe heads estimated to be from 1400-1700 BC.

Dorset Echo:

In fact, the find is so significant that Martin says a team will be coming to do a full archaeological excavation of the site later this year. 

Martin said: "People usually find one maybe two in a lifetime, and I find 14, which is why they are planning to do an excavation.

"It is the dream, it is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. Some people have been metal detecting for 30 to 40 years and have not found one."

When he posted images of the axes online to online metal-detecting communities, he says that hundreds of people reached out to contact him. So many, in fact, that he had to quit the website.

Dorset Echo:

Martin has been given special permission to metal detect on the farm from the owner and says he has had some success since he started metal detecting two years ago.

"We have found lots of bronze, Roman coins back to one or two hundred BC. There is a lot of history on this farm," said Martin.

"I have been told to spend the rest of my detecting career here because they know there are other things up there."

The site's precise location must be kept secret to prevent 'nighthawks' - people who enter the site at night to find the treasure which they then keep or sell on the black market.

The axe heads have been classed as a 'treasure trove' and have been handed over to the Finds Liason Officer. They will be taken to the coroner's court before they are eventually bought by a museum. 

The axes will also be priced, and are expected to fall somewhere around £7,000.

When they do appear in a museum, Martin plans to make the trip to visit them.