Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Another Few Hours In The Fields

They say "Make Hay When The Sun Shines" and metal detector enthusiasts like me need to  get detecting while the crops are out. Modern farming methods are now so efficient that it can sometimes be only a day between harvesting a crop and sowing a new one. But I had some good news when one of the farmers who allows me to search told me that he would not be planting several fields again until September. So off I headed to try out the new coil I just bought for my detector. The XP Deus detector has been a wonderful machine so I doubted that buying a 2" larger diameter coil would make too much difference. Other users reviews had, however, been sufficiently encouraging for me to buy.

This was what I turned out  of my bag when I got home three hours after setting off. I had dug over ninety signals - a far higher number than I would usually expect and more than I had dug on the same field in the same time last weekend (see earlier blog)

After getting rid of the rubbish and modern scrap, this remained.

I was very pleased with the results. Here are some close ups of the more interesting finds.

This is a silver groat (fourpence) from the reign of Richard II (1377-1399). It's a rare coin and even in poor condition worth over £200 so I need to ask the landowner if he wants me to sell it or pay him half its value. I'm going to see him when I have a valuation.

The reverse is in much better condition.

This penny is dated 1571 (or 1572). The monarch is Elizabeth but it's a very worn and probably worthless coin.

This is a fragment of a cooking vessel and is probably Post Medieval (post 1485).

The lead item on the left is a spindle or loom weight which is difficult to date but can range from Roman to Post Medieval. The other item is twisted lead - perhaps a makeshift loom weight.

I can't identify this copper alloy item and will need the archaeologist's help.

This is a good little Post Medieval strap fitting.

Another mystery piece of copper alloy. A vessel handle perhaps?

A large calibre musket ball.

A Medieval buckle.

I am fairly sure that this is a fragment of a Post Medieval spur rowel.

A fragment of a Medieval jetton (sometimes used as gaming counters) and a possible silver hammered coin fragment.

A Post Medieval lead window came used for holding glass in place.

Some casket or drawer fittings. The top one is fairly modern but the bottom appears very old.

A fine Post Medieval mount with plenty of original gilding remaining.

A Medieval stud.

This button is modern (19th century) but very decorative.

A brooch or buckle fragment. Possibly Medieval.

I was so encouraged by these finds in such a short time that I gave the same field another try today.I wasn't disappointed. I haven't had time to photograph the finds yet but with another three hammered silver coins I have now found eight in the last three trips (compared to five in the whole of 2012). I'll put details on a blog soon.