BRONZE Age arm bands, a axe, a knife and a spear tip have been found on a housing development in Hampshire.

Housebuilder Persimmon Homes has been thanked by the British Museum and the Government for donating its share of a Bronze Age hoard to the people of Hampshire.

The finds were located by a metal detectorist on land at Persimmon’s Harbourside View development in Portchester.

The company has now received formal recognition from the British Museum for waiving its right to a reward for the treasure and donating it to Hampshire Cultural Trust, enabling the charity to acquire the artefacts.

The find, which was declared treasure under the stipulations of the Treasure Act 1996 (Designation Order 2002), was assessed by the British Museum and is a Middle Bronze Age ornament hoard.

It consists of two Liss arm rings, an unlooped palstave axe, a quoit-headed pin, a knife/razor fragment and a fragment of a spear tip.

The hoard was discovered by a metal detectorist on land north of Cranleigh Road where Persimmon Homes South Coast has built 120 new homes at its Harbourside View development.

Matt Paine, managing director of Persimmon Homes South Coast, said: “Archaeological surveys are often undertaken as part of the routine preparation for a new homes development, but it is highly unusual and very exciting when something as special as this Bronze Age hoard is discovered on our land.

“We were thrilled to be able to support Hampshire Cultural Trust and ensure these important artefacts remain in the county.”

Persimmon received the letter along with a certificate signed by Caroline Dinenage MP, Minister of State for Digital and Culture which thanks the company for allowing the treasure to be placed in trust for public benefit, enabling people to gain a greater understanding of their local and national heritage.