A roofer from Norwich will be skipping to the bank after a gold cross found in a muddy field sold for thousands.

Jason Willis, 38, found the medieval pendant, which dates from the 11th or 12th century, a few inches into the ground at Sutton St Edmund in Lincolnshire in April 2019.

The pendant went on to sell at auction for £12,400 on Tuesday.

The father-of-three who goes metal detecting with eight of his friends each Sunday, said: “My friends and I have had some good finds over the years, but when I came upon the cross and washed it off, I knew it was something special and by the shining yellow-colour, I knew it was gold.

“I handed it in to our local Finds Liaison Officer and after two years, going through the Treasure process, the cross was returned to me and I was told that I could now sell it.”

The item, now known as the Throckenholt Cross and measuring 31mm in length, was sold at auction by Dix Noonan Webb in Mayfair in London.

Its pre-sale estimate had been between £6,000 and £8,000, and it fetched £12,400 including the 24pc Buyers’ Premium.

Mr Willis said afterwards: “I am a roofer and I was working today, so I watched the sale over my phone while sat on a roof.

“I am over the moon and as I have just moved house, the money will go towards new items for the house.”

Frances Noble, head of the jewellery department at Dix Noonan Webb, described the pendant as of a “form associated with Medieval Greek Orthodoxy in the Eastern Baltic region".

Ms Noble said: “In the medieval period, Denmark formed part of the Hanseatic League, a commercial and defensive alliance of merchant guilds and market towns in central and northern Europe, growing from a few north German towns in the late 12th century, to over 200 towns at the height of its powers between the 13th and 15th centuries.

“King’s Lynn, on the North Norfolk coast, just 20 miles from Sutton St Edmund, was a significant trading partner for the Hanseatic League, and this trade link may provide a possible explanation for these two very similar cross pendants”.