Avid metal detectorist Glenn Manning was ecstatic when he stumbled across two Roman cavalry swords as well as remnants of their wooden scabbards and fitments in the secret location.

He also discovered a broken copper alloy bowl alongside the weaponry.

The swords have been appraised by Professor Simon James from Leicester University who says that these weapons are middle imperial Roman swords, which are often referred to as a spatha.

He believes they were in use in the Roman world around the 160s, through the later second century and far into the third century AD.

Their length suggests that they were weapons intended for use on horseback.

Professor James said: “In terms of parallels, I can’t think of finds of more than one sword being deposited in any similar circumstance from Roman Britain.

“The closest that springs to mind was a pair of similar swords found in Canterbury—with their owners, face down in a pit within the city walls, clearly a clandestine burial, almost certainly a double murder.”

Soon after the discovery, Kurt Adams, a finds liaison officer, took the swords and other items to Corinium Museum in Cirencester for preservation.

Historic England has arranged for the swords to go for further analysis under an X-ray.

An archaeological appraisal at the dig site in the north Cotswolds site may follow to help put the swords into context, as historians involved in the investigation are still unsure about how they ended up buried there.

Cllr Paul Hodgkinson, CDC cabinet member for health, leisure and culture, said: “This new discovery shows what an incredibly deep history the Cotswolds has.

“People famously asked, ‘What have the Romans ever done for us?’.

“Well, they have just given us some amazing examples of weapons used almost 2000 years ago when Cirencester was the second biggest town in Britain.

“This is truly a remarkable archaeological find and I can’t wait for visitors to see them on display in the years to come.”