Tuesday, 28 August 2012

A Bit Of Metal Detecting Success At Last

Since we've been living in the caravan I've only managed two sessions out with the metal detector before today. Things have been so busy on the housing front (with planning the renovations on the house in Suffolk and the journeys between Scotland and England) that leisure time has been at a premium; but every time I've had the chance to get out on my bike I've been knocking on farmers' doors and asking for permission to detect when the crops are harvested. I've managed to find more acres of land around St Andrews than I could ever walk across never mind detect.  

My experience of detecting in Scotland so far has been one of glorious scenery and very few finds but the Kindgom Of Fife is such an historic area that I felt it would only be a matter of time before my luck changed and today was the day that it did. I found a field near to a stream and some fairly old buildings and was confident that I would find something old. A couple of hours later with just the usual couple of buttons and scrap in my finds bag I was beginning to think that it was going to be the same old story. I made a slight adjustment to the frequency setting of the detector and, coincidence or not, I suddenly started to get more signals and this was the first.

I appreciate that to anyone who knows nothing about detecting it looks quite insignificant but it's a very old hammered halfpenny from the days when to make a halfpenny you simply cut your silver penny in half. This coin has been identified for me by expert Tom Redmayne as being from the reign of King John who was on the throne from 1199-1216 so that's a coin that was lost around eight hundred years ago. It was minted in Norwich.

I was delighted to find this as it's my oldest Scottish find by a good five hundred years and I was even happier when, about fifteen minutes later another hammered coin turned up.

Tom tells me that this one is from the reign of Henry III (1216-1272) so it is possible that the coin was lost at the same time (it was a fair distance from the other so I don't think that it is part of a hoard or purse loss). And that was it - time to go home. I popped in to show the farmer who was very interested in the finds and told me it was fine for me to go back any time. I'm looking forward to giving it another try soon.

I had to smile when I looked out of the caravan window this morning. Neighbours had planted this small planter and there was Peter Rabbit on his hind legs, helping himself.