'Mad' UK man discovers lost city of Trellech

ancient ruins in wales
Mr Wilson has spent his life savings on the project (Facebook)

A UK man has made a decision that many called "mad"; spending his entire life savings on an empty plot of land.

But he's the one left laughing after digging it up to discover the ruins of a medieval city.

Stuart Wilson, an archaeology graduate, paid NZ$57,000 for the 4.6-acre plot of land in 2004. The 37-year-old had been digging in the field opposite, when he was tipped off by a local farmer that the grass may be hiding something more significant.

Locals had noticed moles digging up fragments of pottery, as they burrowed beneath the ground in the patch of land between England and Wales.

Mr Wilson has since unearthed an ancient industrial town called Trellech, one of the largest medieval towns in Wales.

Mr Wilson, who started excavating with a small dig in 2004, said the "quite large" 13th century settlement would have had a population of around 10,000 people, making it around a quarter of the size of London.

It would have been one of the largest settlements in the UK at the time.

Mr Wilson has been living with his parents and given up his job to work on the site. Over the years he estimates that about 1000 people have joined him, from archaeology students to interested locals.

"I should have really bought a house and got out from my parents, but I thought, 'to hell with my parents, I will stay at home and I shall buy a field instead,'" he told The Guardian.

"People said 'you must be mad.'"

He said he had so far pinpointed eight buildings, adding: "We're finding building after building after building."

Mr Wilson believes he will most likely spend the rest of his life working on the plot and estimates the project has cost around NZ$354,000 in total over the past 15 years.

He's now seeking planning permission for an education centre, so he can teach visitors about Trellech.