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This website is brought to you by a team of very passionate historians and metal detectorists. We are not part of the grab it and run brigade.
History is extremely important to us and recording finds and working alongside archaeologists is of utmost importance.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Brighton and District Metal Detecting Club 19th August 2012

Brighton and District Metal Detecting Club

Easons Green, near Framfield, East Sussex Rally

Sunday 19th August 2012

Start time 10:00 am Finish time 4:00pm

65+ acres of rolled fields Old track runs through site.

Prepaid tickets £13.50 Adult and £10.00 under 16 years of age, tickets on the day £15.00.

Contact Barry on 01273 582515 or barry.mason@tiscali.co.uk for further details.

Tokens buried for cash prizes. Raffle, draw at 1:00pm

Refreshment van at reasonable prices. Toilets

Sussex FLO, Stephanie Smith, will attend to record finds.

A donation will be made to charity of the farmer’s choice, East Sussex Hospice.

Directions for getting to the site will be sent with tickets. Sign posted on the day

Disclaimer ... This rally / dig is organised by a third party, www.treasurehunting.tv is in no way whatsoever involved with the organisation or running of this event therefore we are not responsible for anything whatsoever that may occur at the above mentioned event and as such you should direct all enquiries / complaints to the event organiser.

Definition of Treasure Hunting

It is hard to actually define the words `Treasure Hunting`. In the Oxford English Dictionary the nearest find is Treasure Hunt ` noun a game in which players search for hidden objects by following a trail of clues` or `Treasure` - noun `a quantity of precious metals, gems, or other valuable objects` and `Hunt` - So what actually does it mean??

Firstly we must read into the phrase `Treasure Hunting` - hunting for treasure. From this we can see that it is a hobby or job that involves hunting for precious metals, gems etc. So we call assume that any job or hobby involving hunting for such items has an element of `Treasure Hunting` involved in it. This could include Metal Detecting, Wreck Hunting, Gold Panning, Bottle Digging.

So basically Treasure Hunting is a collective name for a group of hobbies or jobs that look for Treasure. Some (in fact most) only participate in one particular type of hunting. So those who Metal Detect don`t usually dive in wrecks - however you will find that some of the hobbies overlap in some way.

The next question is how can you Treasure Hunt and will it make you money?? In answer to this the answer must be that `yes` it can make you money but only to a few hard working and lucky hunters. For example if you look at Metal Detecting - a hobby I have been involved in for over 20 years - I have spent many thousands of hours hunting on Beaches and Fields etc. I`ve also found some really nice Coins, Jewrellry, Artifacts etc running into thousands of pounds. Some I keep in my local Bank others I`ve sold and either cashed in as scrap or sold to dealers. However if you work out my expenses and man hours it probably equates to no more than a few pounds an hour. I could have made more if I`d stayed in work. However I also have friends or have found items running into hundreds of thousands of pounds. I suppose at the end of the day there is an element of luck. I`m sure that those who Pan Gold and do Wreck Hunting or Bottle Digging will say exactly the same.

The bottom line is that if you want to take up the hobby to purely make money - the odds are against you. If you want to take a hobby and meet all interesting people, go on digs or dives together, have frills of finding Gold and Silver, Old and New ..............with the chance of finding that one off find, then join the hobby. It has a lot to offer. There are also Coins and Rings being dropped every day so there will always be a hobby there. It all depends on what you want to do. You can Bottle Dig, Metal Detect and Wreck Dive in most parts of the world - as for panning gold there are only certain countries you will be able to go such as Australia and Canada. If you live in England you have more chance of meeting an Alien than Gold Panning.

Tumuli and Barrows

Before I proceed with the article on Tumuli and Barrows it is extremely important to note that many Tumuli and Barrows are protected sites. The use of metal-detecting equipment on a scheduled site is illegal without a licence from English Heritage, as is the removal of objects found by detection equipment. It is an offence not to adhere to the conditions of scheduled monument consent. Conviction for these offences can lead to fines and imprisonment. All responsible Metal Detectorists would respect these laws. Not only do they not want to get themselves into trouble but many are keen historians and/or archaeologists and would not wish to cause any problems for future generations. However if you understand what a Tumuli or Barrow is - it can certainly help you researching an area. Just because you can't detect on a scheduled site does not mean you can't detect on farms around that area - with permission of course. At least you know there has been activity in the area.

Throughout the country we find many artificial mounds which are called tumuli or barrows, or in the neighbourhood of Wales, "tumps." Theseare the ancient burial-places of the early inhabitants of our island,
the word "barrow" being derived from the Anglo-Saxon _beorh_, a hill or grave-mound. It is not unusual to see a barrow in the centre, or near, an old churchyard. The church was built, of course, much later than
the erection of the mound; but doubtless the early preachers of the gospel took advantage of the reverence which was paid to these ancient tombs, proclaimed there the story of the cross, and on the spots so consecrated churches were ultimately built.

These mounds have much to tell us of the early inhabitants. To cover the dead with a mound of earth was a custom common to all nations. All over Europe, in Northern Asia, India, and in the new world of America, we find burial-mounds. The pyramids of Egypt are only glorified mounds; and our islands can boast of an endless variety, sometimes consisting of cairns, or heaps of stones, sometimes of huge hills of earth, 130 feet
in height, as at Silbury, Wilts, and covering five acres; while others are only small heaps of soil a few feet high.

The contents of the tumuli differ also. Sometimes the bodies were burnt and the ashes preserved in rude urns; sometimes they were not cremated. Sometimes they were buried in stone cists, or in the hollowed trunk of
trees; sometimes without any covering save that of the earth. In nearlyall cases we find numerous articles buried with the dead, such as personal ornaments, weapons, pottery, and food.

The presence of food in the tumuli testifies to the natural instinct implanted by the Creator in the human heart with regard to a future existence. The idea that the soul of the departed is about to take a long journey is constant and deeply rooted; the rainbow and the milky way have often been supposed to be the paths trod by the departed, who require sustenance for so long a journey. The Aztecs laid a water-bottle beside the bodies to be used on the way to Mictlan, the land of the dead. Bow and arrows, a pair of mocassins with a spare piece of deerskin to patch them if they wear out, and sinews of deer to sew on the patches with, together with a kettle and provisions, are still placed in the graves by the North American Indians. The Laplanders lay beside the corpse flint, steel, and tinder, to supply light for the dark journey. A coin was placed in the mouth of the dead by the Greeks to pay Charon, the ferryman of the Styx, and for a similar purpose in the hand of a deceased Irishman. The Greenlanders bury with a child a dog, for they say a dog will find his way anywhere. In the grave of the Viking warrior were buried his horn and armour in order that he might enter the halls of Valhalla fully equipped.

These and many other examples might be quoted showing the universality of the belief in a future life, a belief that was evidently shared with other nations by the primeval races who inhabited our islands in prehistoric times.

The presence of food and drinking vessels in the tumuli clearly shows this, and also the store of weapons and implements, adzes, hammers, scrapers, and other tools which the barrows have preserved through so many ages.

These barrows are not confined to one period or one race, as their shape denotes. Some are long, measuring 200 to 400 feet in length by 60 or 80 feet wide; others are circular. The former were made by the long-headed (dolichocephalic) race of whom we have already spoken; the latter by the round-headed (brachycephalic), conquerors of their feebler long-skulled forerunners. When we consider the poor tools used by these primitive peoples, we may wonder at the amount of labour they must have expended on the construction of these giant mounds. Picks made of deer's horns and pointed staves enabled them to loosen the earth which was then collected in baskets and thrown on the rising heap. Countless toilers and many years must have been needed to produce such wonderful memorials of their industry.

As our Archaeologists are getting more advanced they are proceeding to dig into these mounds and discover what they contain. First we notice an encircling trench and mound surrounding the barrow, the purpose of
which is supposed to have been to keep the dead person in the tomb, and prevent it from injuring the living. After much digging in the centre of the barrow we find a single stone chamber, entered by a passage underneath the higher and wider end of the mound. Sometimes the chamber is divided into three parts, the
centre one being covered by a dome, formed by the overlapping of the stones in the upper parts of the walls. The passage leading to the centre chamber is also built with large stones erected with much care and skill. The contents of these long barrows are not so interesting, or numerous, as those contained in the round barrows. The skeletons are usually found in irregular positions, and few weapons or ornaments accompany the buried bones. Derbyshire possesses many barrows; wherever in a place-name the suffix _low_ occurs, derived from the Anglo-Saxon_hlow_, signifying a small hill or mound, a barrow is generally to be found. The long barrow is usually about 200 feet in length, 40 feet wide, and 8 to 12 feet high. They run east and west, frequently north-east by south-west, the principal interment being usually at the eastern and higher end. The bodies are often found in a cist or box made of large stones, and several were buried in one mound, generally on the south and east sides, so that they might lie in the sun. This practice may have been connected with sun-worship; and the same idea prevailed in modern times, when the south side of the churchyard was considered thefavoured portion, and criminals and suicides were relegated to the colder north side.

The position of the bodies varied, but usually they were buried in a crouching position, with knees bent and head drawn towards the knees. This was probably the natural position which a man would assume when he
slept without a luxurious bed to lie upon, and with little to cover him, in order to keep himself as warm as possible. Hence when he sank into his last long sleep, his mourning relatives would place him in the same
posture. In the Channel Islands bodies were often placed in a kneeling position.

The custom of burning the body seems to have been adopted later by the same long-headed race who used the long barrows, and prevailed more in the north of England, in Yorkshire, Derbyshire, and Scotland, than in the south. The cremation was sometimes not very thoroughly performed. The bodies were placed together, wood being piled about them, and over the heap the mound was raised. Then the fire was lighted, which naturally only partly consumed the bodies. We find also, mingled with bones of men and women, the bones of animals, which were probably the remains of funeral feasts.

As we have said the round-headed race introduced the circular barrow, and cremation was their usual, though not exclusive, practice. These people were much stronger and bigger men than their predecessors, their powerful jaws and projecting chins showing much more power of will than the softer narrow-faced dolichocephalic race. However, in the round barrows we also find the bodies of the latter, and we gather that they were not exterminated or driven out by their conquerors, but mingled with them, intermarried, until at length the type of the long-skulled race prevailed, and the Celt of later times possessed the features of the race he had formerly subdued. At least such seems to be the teaching of the barrows.

The Celt became acquainted with the use of bronze, and his tomb was enriched with a store of the relics of the life and art of theworkmanship of the time. As cremation was the usual practice, it was no longer necessary to have a chamber which the dead might inhabit; the size of the sleeping-place of the dead was reduced, and a cist was constructed for the receptacle of the urn in which the remains were placed. The mound also was reduced in size and looked much less imposing than the huge barrows of the Stone Age; but its contents were much more important.

The ashes we find frequently contained in a rude urn of black pottery with some ornamentation. Then we discover pins made of bones, which were evidently used to fasten the dress. The people therefore were evidently not naked, woad-dyed savages; moreover we find bits of woollen fabric and charred cloth, and in Denmark people belonging to this same early race were buried in a cap, shirt, leggings, and boots, a fairly complete wardrobe. They also loved to adorn themselves, and had buttons of jet, and stone and bone ornaments. Besides flint implements we find adzes and hatchets and chisels, axe-hammers constructed with a hole in them for the insertion of a handle, grain rubbers, wheat stones, and hammer stones. The mounds also disclose a great variety of flint implements, hatchets, scrapers, both round and long, knife-daggers, knives, saws, drills, fabricators or flaking tools, sling stones, hammer stones, polishers, arrow-points, either leaf-shaped, triangular, or barbed, and heads of darts and javelins. A very curious object is sometimes found, a
stone wrist guard, for the purpose of protecting the wrist from the bow string.

These barrows and their contents bear evidences to the artistic workmanship of the prehistoric dwellers in our villages. Their tombs show that these people did not confine themselves to the fabrication of
objects of utility, but that they loved to adorn themselves with personal ornaments, which required much art and skill in the manufacture. Necklaces of beads pleased their fancy, and these they made of jet, or shells, the teeth of deer, and the vertebrae of fish. Moreover they loved ear-rings, which were sometimes made of the teeth ofpigs. Objects of gold, bronze, glass, ivory, amber, clay, and bone were also used as ornaments.

If we examine the pottery in the barrows we find that a vessel of earthenware was usually placed at the back of the head of the body when it was not cremated. There were also cinerary urns, cups, usually called incense cups, which were certainly not used for incense, whatever may have been their purpose, food and drinking vessels. This pottery was not sun-dried, but burnt in a fire, though not made in a kiln, and the form
of the vessels shows that the makers were ignorant of the use of a potter's wheel. The ornamentation consisted of a series of straight lines made by a sharp-pointed instrument and by impressions of the finger nails or string, often revealing much skill and artistic workmanship.

From a study of the barrows we may learn much about the early inhabitants of our island, who lived and worked and died on the same spots where we now are spending our days. We can see them hunting in the wild woodlands, rearing cows and sheep and goats, and cultivating their crops of corn. We can still trace on the hillsides some curious terraces fashioned by them for the growing of their grain, and discover querns, or hand millstones, and stones for bruising the corn. The bones of young oxen a few days old, discovered in the mounds, show that they knew the use of milk, and how to get a good supply. A rude spindle-whorl shows
that they knew how to weave stuffs for their clothing, and the numerous buttons, fasteners, and belts prove that the clothes were fitted to the wearer, and not mere shapeless sacks.

The barrows also bear evidence to the existence of some organised condition of society. In the early savage state of human existence the family is the only community; but as man progressed towards civilisation, he learnt how to combine with his fellows for mutual defence and support. We gather from our examination of the tombs of these early races that they had attained to this degree of progress. There were chiefs of tribes and families who were buried with more honour than that bestowed upon the humbler folk. Many families were buried in one mound, showing that the tribal state had been reached, while the many humbler graves denote the condition of servitude and dependence in which a large number of the race lived. All this, and
much more, may be learnt from a careful study of the tombs of these prehistoric people.

Roman Footgear

Examples of the footgear of Roman Britain have been found in many places where the conditions were favourable for the preservation of the leather, notably in London and at Bar Hill and Newstead. Roman writers distinguished several varieties. The solea and sandal, bound to the foot by straps, was not ordinarily used out of doors. The calceus, the close-fitting boot which completely covered the foot, was the national foot-attire for public occasions, and etiquette ordered that it should be worn with the toga in the city. It was secured by straps, which were wound round the lower part of the leg and tied in front; and their number, colour, and other details marked the rank of the wearer. The boots of the ordinary citizens were not so high, and were fastened over the instep by tongues or latchets extending from the sides. Between the sandal and the boot were various transitional forms which may be generically classed as shoes. The gallica had low sides with loops, through which a thong was laced to secure it to the foot, and the crepida appears to have been similar; and both were sometimes classed as soleae.

The caliga was the strongly made sandal-like shoe with open sides, worn by soldiers, and held by straps wound round the leg. It was also worn by the inferior officers, but the higher officers wore the calceus. The soccus was a light low shoe answering to our slipper. The carbatina, apparently made of a single piece of leather, was used by rustics. The cothurnus was a hunting-boot, and custom demanded that it should be worn by tragic actors, as the soccus by comic actors. The differences between some of these have not been satisfactorily determined; still less can the Roman names, and the classification they imply, be satisfactorily applied to the footgear of Roman Britain. If by solea is understood a simple sole held to the foot by straps, it was rarely used in this country, for the large 'find' at Bar Hill yielded only one. On the other hand, a large number of shoes with low openwork sides or borders have been found, and these are usually described as sandals. They appear to correspond with the gallica and crepida — half-sandal, half-shoe. These pass, however, into the shoe which wholly encased the foot, some with openwork and others with solid uppers, and the shoe passes into the boot, of which only few examples have been found in this country. The shoes are of several types, and one of these may be the carbatina. Many of the Bar Hill shoes were certainly worn by soldiers, but none quite answers to the classical caliga.

The shoe was evolved from the sandal. The addition of a heel-piece and toe-cap gave the sandal a firmer hold to the foot; and by extending the heel-piece forward on either side as a tongue-like projection with an eye to receive a thong or lace passing over the instep, the strap could be dispensed with. Fig. 69, A, a child's shoe in the Guildhall, illustrates the outcome. The uppers are of two pieces of leather sewn together at the heel and the toe. They are solid for nearly an inch all round to serve as a sheath to protect the foot against stones and mud; but above that level, portions are cut out so as to leave a framework of narrow bands, apparently a survival of the straps of the sandal. From the lace-holes, the bands radiate to various points between the top of the back and the 'waist' of the sole, so that the pull of the lace is well distributed. Over the toe they run transversely, just in the direction where strength is required. An elaborate man's shoe of the form was found at Bar Hill; and in the Guildhall is an unusual variant in which the whole of the uppers is reduced to a mere skeleton of slender bands reaching down to the sole.

                             Fig. 69.  Shoes of several types. (C, 1/2; all the rest,  1/4) 

It is obvious that shoes like these, with their uppers reduced to mere filaments of leather, were only adapted for light wear. Not so the child's shoe from Bar Hill, D, which has a sturdy workaday look, and its grip to the foot is increased by a second pair of latchets. It is the type of a large class of shoes adapted for hard wear, to which many of the Bar Hill specimens belonged — presumably soldiers' shoes. These shoes were sometimes ornamented with punched work, but only sparingly so, and the leather was never reduced to bands. Those intended for heavy wear had usually a 'counter' — a stiff piece of leather to support the back of the heel.

Another type of shoe suggests a different line of development from the sandal. If the heel-piece is continued along each side of the sole to the point as a low sheath or kerb with a marginal series of holes, through which a thong can be laced from side to side over the toes and instep, we have an incipient shoe which becomes more shoe-like, from the modern point of view, by the development of the kerb. Fig. 69, B, is one of the side leathers of a shoe of the kind in which the kerb is moderately developed. Carry the development further, the lace-holes will meet and the foot will be completely enclosed.

We have now arrived at a form which resembles the modern laced shoe, except that as a rule the lacing started from much nearer the point than at present. Some of these shoes were elaborately ornamented. One in the Guildhall has the lace-holes elongated into loops and the sides are covered with a finely punched diaper with rosettes at intervals, as the first example in C. Part of another with equally elaborate patterning was found at Bar Hill. Two other examples of punched work found in these and shoes of other types are given in C. In a variant of the above type, the lace-holes of the one leather are developed into long loops which reach over the foot to those of the opposite leather. F is a restoration of a woman's shoe of the kind, in the Guildhall. In the same collection is a boy's boot, which represents an extreme variant in another direction, and remarkably anticipates the modern laced boot. The upper, which is solid, is sewn together almost as far as the bottom of the instep, and extending from this to the top of the boot are oval lace-holes, ten on either side, within a scalloped margin as in B.

Some shoes may be regarded as of mixed type. The boy's shoe from Bar Hill, G, has two heel latchets in the form of long loops, a pair of side loops, and a pair at the point. E, in the Guildhall, is a more elaborate example, and Mr. Roach Smith figures another still more advanced which combines the side-laced form of F, with heel-latchets.

In another and primitive type of shoe, sole and uppers are made of a single piece of leather, but occasionally the sole is fortified by an additional leather. Several examples have been found at Bar Hill, one at Netherby, and another at Birdoswald on the Wall of Hadrian. In these shoes the only seam is up the back of the heel; each side is cut into two latchets with lace-holes; but the distinguishing feature is the manner in which the toe-cap was formed. This, as will be seen in the Birdoswald shoe, H, was accomplished by cutting the leather into a series of wedge-shaped strips, each with an eyelet at the end. These strips were then bent back, and the eyelets threaded together, presumably by the lace. Dr. Haverfield suggests that this kind of shoe was the carbatina, and mentions that it is still used by the Carpathian hillmen and by peasants in Italy, Roumania, and Bulgaria.

The soles of the sandals, shoes and boots closely approximate to that of the foot. Not seldom the first or the first and second toes were indicated, and occasionally all the toes as in I, a sole in the Guildhall Museum. J, another Guildhall example, is a typical sole of the coarser shoes intended for rough wear, and it will be noticed that it still conforms to the natural shape. The sole is usually of three or four layers of leather with a thinner insole, and the heel is never raised by additional layers. In sandal-like shoes with low openwork sides, the upper is sometimes of a single piece of leather continuing across the sole; but most often, the upper is of two leathers with their lower margins tucked in between the insole and the sole. The whole fabric was fastened together by nails clenched on the insole, but this was occasionally done by stitches in the lighter shoes.

A notable feature of the soles of the era is the armature of hob-nails on the under surface, not merely of men's, but of women's and children's footgear. Even the lightest and most elaborate shoes usually have it, and the exceptions are comparatively few. The nails are arranged in a variety of ways. Occasionally they are loosely scattered all over the sole, or are scattered in clusters of threes; or they are confined to a marginal row all round the sole. Men's soles were usually thickly studded, the nails within the marginal row being often arranged in some pattern as indicated in J, or in close rows leaving little of the leather visible. The custom of thickly studding soles with nails was common in Italy, and Pliny in describing a peculiar fish likened its scales to the nails of a sandal. Pitt-Rivers found, with the hob-nails at the feet of two skeletons at Rotherley, several cleats from 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 ins. long, the use of which he compared with that of Blakey's boot protectors.

It’s those regimented Romans in Binchester again!

Would-be Roman warriors are looking forward to the re-enactment of the year as those regimented Romans invade Durham County Council’s Binchester Fort again.

The weekend of July 14 and 15 promises not to disappoint with the Celts and Romans back at loggerheads at the popular attraction near Bishop Auckland. Alongside the re-enactments will be a host of historical treats too, with an exhibition of artefacts recently excavated on site and displays of ancient crafts and sports.

The council’s head archaeologist, David Mason, sets the scene with a tour of the site before allowing battle to commence. He said:  “This is history at its best. The weekend festival provides a vivid and exciting insight into real Roman times. It’s a must for the young and young at heart; with everything from artefacts excavated on site to Roman horseback riding displays by Barbaratus, not forgetting of course the battle royal!”

The programme of events begins at 11.00am both days and is then repeated at 2.30pm and includes demonstrations of archery, slingstones and the firing of the bolt-firing catapult known as the ballista.

Admission charges are £3.00 for adults and £1.50 for children and concessions.

The re-enactment will be carried out by Roma Antiqua along with The Celts and elements of Legio IX accompanied by Barbaratus the Roman cavalryman.

Members of Durham County Council archaeology department and the archaeological services of Durham University will also be on hand.

Disclaimer ... This event is organised by a third party, www.treasurehunting.tv is in no way whatsoever involved with the organisation or running of this event therefore we are not responsible for anything whatsoever that may occur at the above mentioned event and as such you should direct all enquiries / complaints to the event organiser.

Iron Age hill fort open to the public on Sunday

This Sunday, 1 July 2012, is the annual Public Open Day at Burrough Hill iron age fort, site of an ongoing University of Leicester dig. Since 2010, students from our School of Archaeology and Ancient History and staff in University of Leicester Archaeological Services have been scraping away at the earth and uncovering artefacts which can tell us about life in Leicestershire 2,000 years ago.

The area was occupied from Neolithic times (4,000BC-2,000BC) through to the 4th or 5th century, with the most intensive period of occupation about a hundred years or so either side of the birth of Christ. An impressive earthworks marks the site of the hill fort and gives commanding views of the Leicestershire countryside.

Full Story

Archaeologists in Greece uncover Roman road

Archaeologists in Greece's second-largest city have uncovered a 70-metre section of an ancient road built by the Romans that was city's main travel artery nearly 2,000 years ago.

The marble-paved road was unearthed during excavations for Thessaloniki's new underground system, which is due to be completed in four years.

The road in the northern port city will be raised to be put on permanent display when the metro opens in 2016.

The excavation site was shown to the public, when details of the permanent display project were also announced.

Full Story

Friday, 29 June 2012

First coin ever issued in Scotland sells at auction for a staggering £8,400

The first coin ever issued in Scotland - a penny - sold at auction yesterday for a staggering £8,400.
The rare silver penny was produced in Carlisle, Cumberland, 875 years ago by the Scottish King David I after he took over the town and its mint, and his name and crest can still clearly be seen on the coin.
It was discovered near Harrogate in North Yorkshire in 1998, and is one of fewer than ten known examples ever found and still in existence today.

Full Story

Metal Detecting Fun Weekend in Aid of Charity - Wiltshire

Metal Detecting Fun Weekend
Return Trip (New Land) to
Foxham, Wiltshire
In Aid of Charity


Friday 28th, Saturday 29thand Sunday 30th September 2012.

N.B. No arrivals before 1000hrs on Friday please.
There will be a small area of land marked off for those who arrive on Friday to detect on during Friday afternoon. This will be pasture.

Please note Saturday and Sunday detecting will begin at 10am and there will be a rally briefing at 9.45 Saturday 29th at the front of the Reading Room.
Detect till dusk.
This event is restricted to 150 detectorists only on a first come first served basis.
No reserve bookings or pay-on-day accepted.
Please note there will be no bookings accepted after 23rd September 2012.
I have already had a huge interest in this rally, so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Foxham Reading Room, Foxham, Wiltshire, SN15 4NH.

Direction signs will be out.
From the M4 Junction 16 take the A3102 via Wooton Bassett, Lyneham. Approx 2miles after Lyneham at bottom of hill turn right. Follow the rally signs (white background with MD Rally in black) to Foxham.

Or From M4 junction 17 take B4122 for approx 1 mile and turn left onto B4069, via Sutton Benger, to Christian Malford. From here you will see rally signs (white background with MD Rally in black) to Foxham.

Please book in at the Reading Room to Kim.
You will have the full use of the Reading Room hall, ladies and gents toilets, hot and cold water throughout the week end.

Camping Caravanning
On your arrival at Foxham Reading Room you will be designated your camping/caravan site. This is on the village green in front of the Reading Room.
(There is no extra charge for camping/caravanning.)

Bed & Breakfast
Those who wish to book B&B you can do so by contacting Robert & Lynne Pegler, tel 01249-740253, quoting Kim’s Rally.
They have limited rooms available, but they do have other contacts for accommodation, so book early to avoid disappointment.
(B&B is not included in the ticket price.)

Refreshments and Food

Reading Room
Food will be available from Friday evening and throughout the weekend at the Reading Room.

At the Reading Room-
Friday evening serving bangers and mash and choice of pudding for £5.50.
Saturday and Sunday morning from 8.30am a full English breakfast @ £5.50 per head will be served. You will be delighted to hear there will be the same friendly service, delicious food and impeccable standards as last time.

For Saturday evening there will be a BBQ @ £3.00 per head, with a vegetarian option also available.
Please note so that we can cater for everybody we will need numbers in advance, so when booking for this weekend please indicate which meals you require by using the return slip. See the booking form at the end of this document.
No return slip no - main meals, so please don’t forget to book.
NB. Meals are paid for on the day.

There will also be light refreshments available throughout Saturday and Sunday at the Reading Room. Serving hot and cold drinks and fresh sandwiches made to order (no booking form needed for these light refreshments).

Foxham Inn
For those who prefer, the local pub, Foxham Inn, serves good pub grub and is only a five minute walk from the Reading Room.
The Reading Room catering staff will be serving a Sunday lunchtime BBQ at the Foxham Inn. The time for the start of this will be given during the rally briefing on the Saturday morning. Proceeds from this will be going to the charities.

Detecnicks Metal Detecting Shop
On location through the whole weekend will be our one and only lovely couple Laura and Nick from Detecnicks.

Organiser on behalf of Foxham Church and Foxham Reading Room.
Kim Clarke e-mail mrstiffler@btopenworld.com., Mobile 07504697077
Assistants for the week end:
Nev Clarke
Josh Clarke.
Steve Cutts

A donation of £35-00 per detectorist for the whole week end. There will be no day tickets available for this event.

Payment -Cheques and postal orders only to be made payable to Foxham Reading Room Management Committee.
Send payment and a stamped addressed envelope to:
Kim Clarke,
20 Leather Lane
Great Yeldham,
CO9 4JB.
In return you will receive your detecting pass ticket (which must be attached to either yourself or your detector throughout the whole week end) and terms and conditions.
Please note you will need your pass when you book in.

All proceeds will be donated to Foxham Church and Foxham Reading Room.

Land Available and Ground Conditions
In the heart of this delightful quaint rural Wiltshire village, I have for you 150 acres approx. of light soil top with a clay base.
There will be a mixture of cultivated, stubble and pasture. The pasture fields have not been pasture for more than 3 years. The land is spread amongst two farms. The amount of cultivated land (approx 90acres) will obviously depend on how early the harvest is done. But the landowners assure me, weather permitting, they will try their best to get the land cultivated.

Brief History
Evidence of a small Roman settlement has been indicated on the edge of the village, not that many yards from one of the fields we have available.

There is also evidence of many medieval buildings, now long gone, and very early allotments/strip farming on some of the fields we are going to detect on.
These areas will be highlighted on the maps that will be handed out on arrival.

Light Entertainment
A bar will be provided in the Reading Room on Friday and Saturday evening, serving beers, soft drinks and wine. On Saturday evening there will be (free) music from a band playing jazz and old time music. So please don’t forget to bring along your party frocks.

On Saturday evening outside the Reading Room will be the BBQ (see Ticket and Meal Booking Form at the end of this document).

A raffle will be run over the week end, being drawn at the Reading Room on Sunday. Any donations for prizes will be greatly appreciated. Please hand to the raffle stall on Friday and Saturday morning. There will be a number of detecting items as prizes.
All proceeds from the raffle will also be donated to Foxham Church and the Reading Room.

Terms and Conditions
The land owners Mr & Mrs R Pegler and Mr A Glass & Son, grants a licence to enter the fields specified during the following period of time, from 1200hrs Friday 28th September 2012 to 1600hrs Sunday 30th September 2012 for the sole purpose of metal detecting for items whether ancient or modern.

Notes on Finds

Finds over 300 years old and over £300 in value and items subject to the Treasure Act 1996 are to be divided 50/50 with the landowner.

To build and retain a good relationship with the land owner please show all finds. Share the unearthed fascinating history of your finds as nobody is going to take them away from you (obviously unless subject to treasure trove).
This can only earn acceptance for our return trips and encourages the rest of us to try harder.
The local FLO, Katie Hinds, has been invited to record and identify finds.

The land owner respectfully requests the following:
1. All holes to be filled in.
2. Dogs are allowed, but must at all times be kept on a leash.
3. Entry to the specified fields indicated by the rally organiser via proper entry routes, not through hedgerows please.
4. No telephone calls to the landowner requesting return detecting.
5. No camp fires, only proper camping stoves to be used.
6. All rubbish to be put in bins/bags/skip provided.

General Note – In the event of a hoard or important find coming up the follow actions are to take place.
The finder is requested to stop digging and inform the rally organiser (Kim Clarke Mobile 07504697077) who will cordon off the area and along with the FLO, decide on the necessary course of action.
This course of action is to acknowledge the identity of the finder and to preserve the historical record.
It is your responsibility to abide by the provisions of the Treasure Act 1996 and Treasure Act Code of Practice (www.finds.org.uk).

Please note the following. Once you have made your donation to take part in this event you have accepted to be bound by the terms and conditions as laid down and described in this document.
Failing to comply with any of the terms and conditions for this event may result in early termination of your weekend.
If there is any one of the above terms and conditions you feel you don’t agree with then this event is not for you.

Please ensure you have either NCMD, FID membership or other relevant personal liability insurance.

Note for non-UK Residents- It will be your responsibility to arrange an export licence for any of your finds of fifty years old and over.

Ticket and Meal Booking Form
Foxham Rally 28th -30th September 2012

Your Name …………………………………..

Number of weekend tickets required-
£35.00 each

Number of Friday Eve ‘Bangers and mash & pud’ meals required @ £5.50 (pay on day)

Number of Saturday Full English Breakfasts-from 8.30am
£5.50 each (pay on day)

Number of Sunday Full English Breakfasts-from 8.30
£5.50 each (pay on day)

Number of Saturday eve BBQ-
£3.00 each (pay on day)

Number of Saturday eve BBQ- vegetarian option
£3.00each (pay on day)

Number of Sunday lunchtime BBQ at Foxham Inn £3.00 (pay on day)

Number of Sunday lunchtime Vegetarian BBQ at Foxham Inn £3.00 (pay on day)

Disclaimer ... This rally / dig is organised by a third party, www.treasurehunting.tv is in no way whatsoever involved with the organisation or running of this event therefore we are not responsible for anything whatsoever that may occur at the above mentioned event and as such you should direct all enquiries / complaints to the event organiser.

200 sites targeted ‘tip of iceberg’

RESEARCH by English Heritage revealed that there were 240 sites which were reportedly targeted by nighthawks between 1995 and 2008.

But an English Heritage spokeswoman stressed it is “difficult to quantify” the true extent of the problem, and the study suggested the reported incidents were “only the tip of the iceberg”.

The National Council for Metal Detecting has established a code of conduct.

The council’s general secretary, Trevor Austin, who lives in Doncaster, claimed only a “tiny number” of the estimated 20,000 metal detectorists nationally are guilty of nighthawking. He said: “This is theft like any other theft, and it is something that any responsible metal detectorist would have nothing to do with whatsoever.”


Medieval Silver Annulet Brooch found in Cheshire

A rare medieval silver annulet brooch, dating to the 14th  century, has been unearthed at a metal detecting rally organised by Crewe and Nantwich MDS, in aid of the Joshua Tree Charity, in Brassey Green near Tarporley, Cheshire.

The find came to light on Sunday 10th June 2012 by Tony Derbyshire who is a member of the South Lancs and Cheshire Metal Detecting Cub.

Tony, who has only been detecting for just over 12 months, has found items as far back as the Roman period, but this is his first item, that falls under the Treasure Act 1996.

The coroners inquest was opened on the 28th June and was adjourned, awaiting reports from the local Finds Liason Officer for the North West, but it is likely to be declared Treasure. It is unknown at this stage if any Museum is interested in acquiring the find.

This green waste issue just isn't going away!!

Alarming pictures of more Contaminated Green Waste (C.G.W) have been sent to Treasurehunting.tv. The pictures are showing mountains of the stuff in a farmers field near Leeds. It is full of contaminants, including metals and tonnes of MDF (and glue). Shortly to hit a farmers field near you, which will be growing your food.

Sign the Petition - No age restriction.

Pottery invented in China to cook food and brew alcohol

The oldest known samples of pottery have been unearthed in southern China.

The US archaeologists involved have determined that fragments from a large bowl found in Xianrendong Cave, Jiangxi Province, are 20,000 years old.

The discovery, published in the journal Science, is the latest in recent years that have pushed back the invention of pottery by 10,000 years.

Full Story

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Inquest into the discovery of a 17th Century Coin Hoard from Bitterley, South Shropshire

An important coin hoard from the English Civil War has been declared treasure today by Mr. John Ellery, H.M. Coroner for Shropshire. The hoard was discovered by a metal detector user in February 2011.

The hoard was found by Howard Murphy who discovered it on farmland in the Bitterley Area, South Shropshire. Mr Murphy, an experienced metal detectorist, realised that he had found an important find when he revealed the top of a pottery vessel which was filled with silver coins. He knew that he had made a significant discovery and so resisted the temptation to dig the find up himself and instead reported it to Peter Reavill his local Finds Liaison Officer, based with Shropshire Museums. Peter Reavill, who works closely with the metal detecting community in the Marches, organised a rescue excavation to investigate the find and

its surrounding coins. These were carefully removed to see if there was any internal stratigraphy (layering / order). When the coins had been taken out a very fine grained leather purse could be seen lining the inside of the vessel. Leather items like this very rarely survive, especially when buried in the ground, and if the finder had attempted to lift the hoard and remove the coins himself then it is likely that much of this fragile material would have been lost.

Full Story

WW2 gunnery range - Mortar bonanza !

I was just reading this on a metal detecting forum, from a guy who had heard that there was potentially a WWII Gunnery Range. So off he went with detector in hand and came up with all kinds of WWII ordnance. Some of it was clearly live.

It really did get me asking the question. Brave or just plain stupid??? I'll let you decide.

He has since posted the info below, so I'm happy with the 'brave' description rather than the latter.

Please don't fret guys. I am chairman of the WW2 Relic Retrieval and Preservation Group (hence my forum name RRPG), and am quite experienced in remaining safe whilst recovering such relics. I am far from a 'newbie' with regards military relics.
As I pointed out in the video, the items that I thought were live turned out not to be, so there was no need to call the authorities. However, I am fully aware of my responsibilities regarding any live ordnance I find and ALWAYS inform EOD should I happen across anything.

Coin found near Salisbury fetches £9,300 at Spink auction (Archive Material)

Today at auction Spink sold an extremely important Anglo-Frisian Solidus coin from ninth century England for £9,300. The Solidus was truly rare with only one other coin of this type known.  Earlier this year the coin was brought into Spink by a lady who discovered it in a field near Salisbury.  After dusting the earth from the face of the coin the lady, who wishes to remain anonymous, knew that she had tripped upon something very unusual.

The coin was purchased by anonymous bidder in the room.

25th June 2009

Huyton metal detector finds rare Bronze Age axe head in St Helens

Fifty-two-year-old historian Steve Hickling, from Huyton, was hunting for treasure in the grounds of Fir Tree Farm Shop and Cafe, in St Helens, earlier this year when he uncovered the axe head.

He told the ECHO: "It's as rare as hen's teeth.

"It's something that you don't find every day and I've only been in the hobby for 12 months."

Full Story

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Coining it in: Metal detector treasure hunters hit £10m jackpot with 50,000 silver coins

Two metal detector users were celebrating yesterday after finding 50,000 silver coins hidden from the Romans more than 2,000 years ago.

Reg Mead and Richard Miles unearthed the buried treasure, which could be worth £10million, from under a hedge on farmland they had been searching for 30 years.

The huge haul of Celtic money is the biggest ever found in Europe and weighed three quarters of a ton.

An inquest will decide who owns the trove, and profits from discoveries elsewhere have usually been shared with the landowners.

The coins date back to 25BC and were in a mound of clay 3ft down at a secret location on Jersey.

Full Story

Chester prepares for 'significant' Roman dig

The eight-storey office building Commerce House will be demolished and foundations studied by archaeologists before making way for the city's new theatre, if special consent is granted by Department for Communities & Local Government.

Cheshire West & Chester Council has applied to Government for permission to demolish the block as part of site preparations for the new theatre. As Commerce House is within a conservation area it requires ministerial consent for demolition.

An archaeological desk-based assessment of the theatre site was commissioned by CWAC's historic environment service earlier this year. It concluded the 'foundations of Folliott House and Commerce House undoubtedly damaged archaeological remains in these areas but significant remains probably survive beneath and around both of them.'

Full Story

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Celtic Coin Hoard of Corfe Castle - Archive

Huge hoard of ancient coins found in Jersey

THE gold and silver treasure of a Celtic army worth millions has been unearthed in a Jersey field by two men with metal detectors.
It is thought that the hoard of an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 iron-age coins is the biggest such find ever discovered from the Celtic world, which once stretched across northern and western Europe.

Curator of Archaeology at Jersey Museum, Olga Finch said: ‘This is an incredibly important archaeological find of international significance. The fact that it has been excavated archaeologically is also rare and will greatly enhance the level of information we can glean about the people who buried it. It is an amazing contribution to the study of Celtic coins, we already have a number of very important Iron Age coin hoards found in the Island, but this new addition will make Jersey a magnet for Celtic coin researchers. It reinforces just how special Jersey’s archaeology it.’

Roman and Celtic coin hoard worth up to £10m found in Jersey

Roman and Celtic coin hoard worth up to £10m found in Jersey

One of Europe's largest hoards of Iron Age coins has been unearthed in Jersey and could be worth up to £10m, according to an expert.

The Roman and Celtic coins, which date from the 1st Century BC, were found by two metal detector enthusiasts.

Dr Philip de Jersey, a former Celtic coin expert at Oxford University, said the haul was "extremely exciting and very significant".

He said each individual coin was worth between £100 and £200.

The exact number of coins found has not been established, but archaeologists said the hoard weighed about three quarters of a tonne and could contain about 50,000 coins.

Full Story


Georgian Purse Loss find with detector (archive)

11 Coin George III and IV Purse Loss

Monday, 25 June 2012

Permits required to Metal Detect Beaches in UK

I have been asked on many occasions from those looking to holiday in the UK if they require permits to Metal Detect on UK Beaches. The answer is yes. This applies also to those living in the UK. However it is FREE.

From the Crown Estate Website

Anybody wishing to carry out metal detecting on our foreshore requires a permit.  This permit does not apply to the seabed or river beds or any other Crown Estate land.

We generally seek to encourage access over, and responsible use of, the foreshore and therefore make no charge for the permit. Foreshore in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is defined as the land between mean high water and mean low water. In Scotland the definition is between mean high water of spring tides and mean low water of spring tides.
Why is consent required?

All UK foreshore has an owner. Unlike the public rights of fishing and navigation and our general permissive consent for public access along the foreshore, other activities, including metal detecting, need the landowner's permission.

We are required by the Crown Estate Act 1961 to manage our foreshore and regulate such activities and this covers the locating and removal of finds, including those that might be identified as 'treasure'. The Treasure Act 1996 deals with the definition of treasure, along with the payment of rewards in relation to permitted metal detecting. Items which are not defined as treasure and found in the course of metal detecting are in principle also owned by the landowner.

Full Story and Application Form

NCMD to take up battle against Contaminated Green Waste

For the benefit of members from the OGM on 24.06.12;

1:There is to be a Parliamentary Debate concerning "Recreational Access to the Countrside" as such the NCMD(as members of SARA, Sport & Recreational Alliance) have been invited to,and have submitted, a briefing note as to what restricts members from accessing the countryside in pursuit of their hobby and to make recommendations thereon.
Top of the list; Contaminated Green Waste. The summary line of the three paragraphs is as follows;

"The dumping of such material is nothing short of legalised fly tipping and is unacceptable. It has to be stopped.

2:An NCMD "Green Waste" sub-commitee has been set up to expand the current dossier of information that can be presented at all Parliamentary & associated working groups the NCMD take part in. Information can be sent by members through clubs via their regional reps, the NCMD forum or any committee members. We are looking for pictures & locations (to postcode only!).
It was also discussed that any member of the public can report incidences of CGW (spread or piled for future use) to the Environment Agency who are obliged to act on such reports. It is recommended that detectorists,where appropriate, discuss CGW contents with their farmers first rather than risk alienating the very people whose help we need to overcome this problem.

There will be more to follow in Digging Deep & the hobby press to support & progress the excellent work being done by a number of individuals.

No homes near Oswestry hill fort, say campaigners

No homes near Oswestry hill fort, say campaigners

Civic groups will lobby councillors calling on them to re-think plans to build homes around an ancient hill fort in Shropshire.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England, Oswestry and Border History and Archaeology Group and Oswestry Civic Society met this week to draw up an action plan to try to stop homes being built around Oswestry’s Hill Fort.

Fears were sparked by Shropshire Council’s SAMDev development plan.

It suggests 80 new homes off Gobowen Road and 25 at Oldport Farm on the same road.

The campaign groups are supported by the British Archaeology Trust and English Heritage.

Civic society chairman Saffron Rainey said: “It was a very good meeting and the conclusion is we will contact councillors. We want to present the case for the importance, not just local importance but national importance, of the site.

Full Story

'Bizarre cow woman' found in Cambridgeshire Anglo-Saxon dig

Archaeologists excavating an Anglo-Saxon cemetery in Cambridgeshire say the discovery of a woman buried with a cow is a "genuinely bizarre" find.

The grave was uncovered in Oakington by students from Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Central Lancashire.

At first it was thought the animal skeleton was a horse.

Student Jake Nuttall said: "Male warriors might be buried with horses, but a woman and a cow is new to us."

He added: "We were excited when we thought we had a horse, but realising it was a cow made it even more bizarre."

Co-director of the excavation, Dr Duncan Sayer, from the University of Central Lancashire, said: "Animal burials are extremely rare, anyway.

Full Story

Friday, 22 June 2012

Coins from the sunken Spanish galleon in Tobermory Bay have been stolen from a museum.

Coins from the sunken Spanish galleon in Tobermory Bay have been stolen from a museum.

Two "pieces of eight" have been taken from Mull Museum in Tobermory, along with a foot-long barnacle encrusted scabbard.

The Mull Museum started in the 1970's as a small temporary summer exhibition. In 1986 the Museum moved to its permanent home in Columba Buildings on Tobermory's Main Street and has been steadily developing its collection ever since

The coins, one from Spain and one from Bolivia, came from the San Juan De Sicilia which blew up in the bay in 1588.

The thief managed to open the locked display case which held the items, police said.#

If you can help please contact

Bulgarian Archaeologists Stumble Upon Ancient Treasure in Sozopol

Bulgarian Archaeologists Stumble Upon Ancient Treasure in Sozopol

Bulgarian archaeologists have discovered a treasure of bronze coins during excavations in the Black Sea resort town of Sozopol.

The treasure was found hidden in a small jar, and consists of 225 Ancient Greek bronze coins, explained the leader of the archaeological team, Prof. Krastina Panayotova, as cited by the Focus news agency.

The coins are well-preserved, and were minted in Sozopol in the 4th century; they were found during excavations of a necropolis in the Budzhaka area close to the Black Sea town.

Full Story and Photo

Massive Gold Trove Sparks Archeological Dispute

Massive Gold Trove Sparks Archeological Dispute

A 3,300-year-old treasure trove of gold found in northern Germany has stumped German archeologists. One theory suggests that traders transported it thousands of miles from a mine in Central Asia, but other experts are skeptical.

Archeologists in Germany have an unlikely new hero: former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. They have nothing but praise for the cigar-smoking veteran Social Democratic politician.

Why? Because it was Schröder who, together with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, pushed through a plan to pump Russian natural gas to Western Europe. For that purpose, an embankment 440 kilometers (275 miles) long and up to 30 meters (100 feet) wide had to be created from Lubmin, a coastal resort town in northeastern Germany, to Rehden in Lower Saxony near the northwestern city of Bremen.
The result has been a veritable cornucopia of ancient discoveries. The most beautiful find was made in the Gessel district of Lower Saxony, where 117 pieces of gold were found stacked tightly together in a rotten linen cloth. The hidden treasure is about 3,300 years old.

Full Story

Thursday, 21 June 2012

1000-year-old coin found in Bamburgh

1000-year-old coin found in Bamburgh

BAMBURGH resident Julie Spruce found a well-preserved short cross penny in the village but dating it proved problematic until archaeologists turned to social media.

Within minutes, archaeologists from the Bamburgh Research Project had ascertained that the coin dated from the reign of William the Conqueror (1066-1087).

Archaeologist Gerald Twomey said: “I just happened to pop into Julie’s sandwich shop one day and she said she’d found this coin.”

Joanne Kirton, archaeology supervisor, added: “The coin is in quite good nick and it was very difficult to make out the name on the coin.

“But we did have good decoration on the cross section and the image of the king so we trawled the intenet looking for comparisons. We couldn’t find any so decided social media was a good outlet for getting responses from the general public.”

A picture of the coin was posted on Twitter which quickly attracted some encouraging feedback.

Full Story

Sheffield landlady had bomb in her pub for three weeks

A PUB landlady left a strange piece of metal near her cooker for three weeks - before discovering it was an unexploded wartime bomb.

Denise Kilner’s pub in Sheffield had to be sealed off and evacuated by Army bomb disposal officers.

She found the nine-inch tube - which she thought was an old battery - and took it back to the Cross Scythes in Norton Lees after starting metal detecting as a hobby.

But when her daughter’s boyfriend Mark Deakin, a former soldier, spotted the object he identified it as a potentially dangerous bomb.

Denise, aged 51, said: “When Mark told me it was a bomb I had had it on the side near the cooker for three weeks!

Full Story

Travellers’ camp near Staffordshire Hoard field refused

Plans to build a travellers’ camp in a field bordering the site of the Staffordshire Hoard discovery have been thrown out.

The Maughan family, who had wanted to live on the site, near Hammerwich, is appealing against the decision.

A verdict on plans for the land, which sits on the border of Burntwood and Brownhills, had been put back after it was found that the travellers, who bought the plot at auction three years ago, had not included all of the land they owned on the planning application form.

Now, Lichfield District Council has ruled a camp would be inappropriate development on green belt land.

Full Story

Queen’s hair pin found in a toilet

A hairpin belonging to 16th century French Queen Catherine de Medici has been discovered at a royal residence outside Paris. What has conservators scratching their heads is exactly where it was found: down a communal toilet.

Officials said it’s the first time in modern history that a possession of the Renaissance royal has been found at Fontainebleau Palace. Though the queen was renowned across Europe for her lavish jewelry, much of her collection has been lost, sold or stolen over the centuries.

Full Story

Appeal for volunteers to dig into town’s industrial heritage

Appeal for volunteers to dig into town’s industrial heritage

VOLUNTEERS are needed to help excavate the historic centre of Radcliffe, as part of Greater Manchester’s biggest- ever archaeological project.

Archaeologists from the University of Salford will attempt to uncover clues to the town’s past, based around the late 13th century Radcliffe Tower and Radcliffe Parish Church.

The dig will focus on the 18th and 19th century industrial heritage of the area, which features the Bealey family’s bleach works.

By excavating the family home, Close House, and workers’ cottages at Close Park, the university team hopes to uncover insights into the lives of the owners and workers who lived there.

Members of the public are being invited to find out more by joining the dig, which takes place from Monday, July 2, to Saturday, July 14.

Full Story

Roman coins find prompts dig to uncover Newton Abbot Roman settlement

Roman coins find prompts dig to uncover Newton Abbot Roman settlement

EXCAVATIONS to uncover what is believed to be a major Roman town in the heart of South Devon are set to take place this summer.

The major archaeological dig is planned for rural Teignbridge, on the outskirts of Newton Abbot, after a chance find of ancient coins (pictured) by metal detector enthusiast Geoff Fox and his friend Shaun Pitts led to the discovery of the largest Roman settlement ever found in Devon.

Full Story

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Man attacked with his Metal Detector

Twin brothers 'witnessed gang throwing stones at man' in Frizinghall

Eight-year-old twin brothers witnessed a vulnerable man being attacked with bricks and his own metal detector, a Court heard.

A jury at Bradford Crown Court was shown video interviews the boys gave to police the day after the incident, at Frizinghall in April last year.

The brothers, now ten, were playing football with a friend on a fenced-in five-a-side pitch when they saw Matthew Ellis, 39, being attacked on a path by a group of teenagers.

Mr Ellis needed emergency surgery after he was hit on the forehead by a rock, thrown by one of the gang, causing a wound which penetrated the membrane surrounding his brain. He also suffered a broken arm after being struck three times with his metal detector.

Full Story

Norfolks Largest Hoard of Denarii to date - Archive

With permission from The Searcher and John Fargher and Sally Buckley.
Copyright co-owned by the writers and The Searcher

Robert III Issued First Collectible Scottish Gold

Let me try to explain the feudal system in modern terms. There were gangs of armed criminals everywhere doing as they pleased, fighting with each other and using slaves – or might as well have been – to do the support and maintenance while they fought. The technology had developed so that some of the violent criminals had gotten very powerful, enforcing the allegiance of entire what we call nations today. Back then, a nation was made of some number of big gangs all technically working for one top dog. They liked that top dog thing, though of course committees actually ran things in the background. Politics were all personal back then.

Fourteenth century Scotland was pretty riled up with great nobles quarrelling with each other, importunate and bellicose England to the south, intrigue, pestilence and armed gangs all over the place fighting. And then for rest and relaxation the rich folks would go hunt, ride around on horses all day and kill things, men and women (on occasion) both.

Full Story

'Extraordinary' shipwreck found off Swedish coast

An 800-year-old shipwreck has been found by divers off the south coast of Sweden, prompting archaeologists to ponder the potential treasures inside.

Lars Einarsson, underwater archaeologist at the Kalmar County museum, was amazed at the results of the exploration of the ship found off the coast of Sturkö, near Karlskrona.

“This is an extraordinary medieval wreck. We’ve found that the wood was cut down between 1250 and 1300,” he told The Local.

The long and narrow ship, measuring 14 by two metres, would have been sleek and fast, and most likely used for attacking and looting.

The ship is 1.8 metres underwater, and is still almost completely buried under the seafloor, which makes for “troublesome diving conditions” according to Einarsson.

“When the divers recovered fragments for dating, they were literally ‘looking’ with their hands,” he said.

Full Story

Crew will attempt to recover millions from Southeast Alaska shipwreck

The Alaska Office of History and Archaeology estimates there could be as many as 3,000 shipwrecks lining the state’s 44,000 miles of coastline. Now, the multi-million-dollar mystery behind one of those wrecks may finally be answered, when a Seattle-based company attempts to salvage the remains of the SS Islander, which sank in 1901 while carrying Klondike gold rushers – and, reportedly, lots of their gold -- from Skagway to the city of Victoria in British Columbia.

A federal judge in April declared that Ocean Mar, Inc. and its president, 62-year-old Theodore Jaynes, could move ahead with plans to survey and possibly salvage the more-than-century-old shipwreck. The decision ended more than a decade of legal wrangling over the salvage rights to the ship, and could finally answer the question of just how much -- if any -- gold remains on the sea floor where the SS Islander sunk in Southeast Alaska.

Full Story

Rare Roman souvenir is acquired in unique agreement by three British museums - Archive Material

The pan, although lacking its handle, is an extremely well preserved enamelled and inscribed bronze trulla dating to the Roman period. It was made both as a functional vessel and as a 'souvenir' of Hadrian's Wall, and is a find of great national and international significance. Uncovered by a metal detectorist in Staffordshire in June 2003, it was promptly reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme who drew the attention of relevant museums to the find.

The Staffordshire Moorlands Pan, adapted from photos by S.Laidlaw, IOA.

The shared acquisition of the pan will mean that people across the country will be able to admire and enjoy this remarkable object. It will enable the pan to be seen in the context of the original find site, of Hadrian's Wall and as part of the foremost collection of Romano-British material in the UK. The pan will be displayed initially in the British Museum, it will then travel to the Potteries Museum for display during 2006 and to Carlisle for 2007. Replicas of the pan are being made as part of the acquisition grant to ensure that when the original is at one venue, a representation of the pan can still be displayed at the other venues.

The inscription rendered in black and white.

Kate Clark, Heritage Lottery Fund Deputy Director, Policy and Research, said:
"This two thousand-year-old souvenir of Hadrian's Wall is a very special part of our past and one which people across the country should have the chance to see. This unique sharing scheme is exactly the sort of innovative joint working that the Heritage Lottery Fund wants to encourage UK museums to undertake".

Hilary Wade, Director of the Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in Carlisle, commented:
"This is a wonderful 'icon' to focus on the rich Roman heritage of Carlisle and the western end of Hadrian's Wall. Tullie House looks forward very much to displaying it in 2007 and to working with our new partners".

Ian Lawley, Stoke-on-Trent City Council's Head of Museums said 'The joint acquisition of the Staffordshire Moorlands Pan by the three museums is truly trail-blazing. It marks a new era in co-operation between National and regional museums and will enable this enormously significant national treasure to be seen and enjoyed by a large number of people at all three venues. We hope that this will be the first of many such partnerships'.

Ralph Jackson, Curator of Romano-British collections at the British Museum in London added:
"This little gem of British craftsmanship, a unique find of the greatest importance, shows us that Hadrian's Wall was as famous in the Roman world as it is today. Visually striking and replete with fascinating information, it is a most notable acquisition for the nation".

The Staffordshire Moorlands Pan dating to the mid 2nd century AD the pan is intricately decorated with a band of Celtic-style roundels. Spectacularly colourful, the roundels are inlaid with red, blue, turquoise and yellow enamel. The pan at its widest diameter is 94mm and it weighs 132.5g. Immediately above the band of roundels is an engraved inscription which lists four forts on Hadrian's Wall:

MAIS (Bowness-on-Solway)
COGGABATA (Drumburgh)
CAMMOGLANNA (Castlesteads)

The mention of Drumburgh is interesting as this is the first time the name of this fort has been found on a Wall souvenir. The other part of the inscription is the most significant and reads RIGORE VALI AELI DRACONIS. The first ten letters appear to be a direct reference to Hadrian's Wall. The remaining letters may be interpreted as the personal name Aelius Draco (or Dracon) which may be that of the person it was made for, perhaps an officer whose command related to the Wall. Draco is a Greek name, suggesting an origin in the eastern Roman Empire. 'Aelius' is Hadrian's family name and would have been traditionally adopted by anyone obtaining Roman citizenship under his rule. This is the first time that a personal name has been found within the inscription on such a vessel. Further research on the inscription is being undertaken and may reveal yet more information about the find and about life in and around the Wall itself, the most potent symbol of the Roman province of Britannia.

My Pockets were bursting with coins

My Pockets were bursting with coins

When I first started Metal Detecting in the early 1980's I was only a young lad - not that I'm old now :-) However because of this I couldn't travel very far. I lived in the city very close to Sefton Park. This was a very old park with roots going back hundreds of years. In fact nearby districts such as Toxteth and Smithdown could be found mentioned in the Doomsday book of 1086. These names indictaethat the age of the setllements was much older, with Toki Staith thought to be Viking in origin, probably 9th Century, meaning landingplace of Toki and Smithdown meaning 'smooth hill' and thought to be Anglo-Saxon in origin.

In the 13th Century King Edward I enclosed both areas into a deer park to be used for royal hunting. Toxteth was sold by the crown to the Earl of Derby in 1592 who turned the area into farmland and sold the
land in 1604 to Sir Richard Molyneux of Sefton, whose family became the Earls of Sefton in 1771.

The 375 acres for Sefton Park and the surrounding building plots were purchased from the Earl of Sefton and in November 1866 the Corporation announced a public competition for the design of Sefton Park. In May 1867 the first prize was awarded to Messrs. André and Hornblower for a natural, undulating and varied landscape design.The park was officially opened by Prince Arthur in 1872.

It had a lovely Palm House, Boating Lake along with a Band Stand. These were the areas I would concentrate my efforts on. In fact I spent thousands of hours along with other detectorists combing these
areas, for any 'goodies' that my ancestors may have dropped.

The Palm House was built in 1896. The Palm House was a three tiered, octagonal structure of wrought and cast iron on a polished granite base. There was to be some nice finds to come off from around here.
These varied from all kinds of Silver Coinage to decorative brooches etc and Pocket Watch Chains etc I was also fortunate to find a lovely Solid Gold Bracelet.

There was also a Band Stand. This was a joy to detect on. Well not exactly the band stand but the banks opposite. They were on a slope. I could imagine my ancestors sitting there on a Sunday afternoon
listening to the brass bands. I found some lovely silver coins here too. I also found Victorian jewrellry and silver collar studs. It was great that in the 19th century they loved silver so much. It meant that the coins etc came up in such nice condition.

Another area that was good to detect on was the banks of the Boating Lake. Although the items were not quite as old, there was much more coming off. I think this is because for many years people had sat on
the edge of the lake watching the boats. Also the lake was dredged over the years and all the coins etc must have been spread around the banks. There was even a bomb found at one stage.

Bomb Story

Many days I would have to go back to my bag and empty hundreds of coins out of my pockets - because they were too heavy. Over the years I must have found in excess of 5000 coins in the park.

Although I had plenty of good times there and saw dozens of rings found, my favourite time was when 'our kid' found a Victorian Gold Half Sovereign. Although I'd seen thousands of Silver coins I have never seen a gold coin come off the park. This all changed on one Sunday afternoon when he found the coin 6 inches down. It was pouring down with rain and it rounded the day off beautifully.

I was actually involved in doing a Radio Program with Tony Snell a few years ago. I was detecting and he was recording the show. I even helped raise some money for charity (see pic) It was a great experience
and even then I was finding new stuff.

I could go on and on about my times at 'Sevvy Park' and may do more articles in the future.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Metal Detecting close to Village Inns (pubs)

In almost every village in England there is an inn (pub). These are always good to research if you are looking to go Metal Detecting. I have researched many an inn in the past and gained permission to detect close by. You will be surprised the amount of coins and artifacts to be found. Before the Reformation there were very few of these hostelries, as travellers were always accommodated at the monasteries, each of which had a hospitium, or guest-house, where their wants were attended to by special officers appointed for the purpose, and where
they could remain for several days. 

But the destruction of the monasteries produced many changes in the condition of the country; it introduced the necessity of a poor law, for the poor were always relieved by the monasteries; it required the erection of schools and places for education, as all the education of the country had been carried on in these monastic buildings; and when the old guesthouses ceased to exist, travellers, merchants, and pedlars required some place in which to lodge when they moved about the country, and inns became plentiful as time went on. Hence in almost every village in England there is an inn, which is generally a landmark; and if you wish to direct a stranger to some place where he desires to go, you doubtless tell him to turn to the right by "The Bull," or to keep straight on until he comes to "The Magpie."

Old inns have a great history. In former days they used to be meeting-places of plotters and conspirators. All the distinguished people in the country used to pass through the villages and towns on the great roads through the country, and when the horseswere being changed they used to partake of the good fare which the landlord provided. Those were busy times for the old inns, when there was stabling for fifty or sixty horses, and the coaches used to rattle through the village to the inn door long before the iron horses began to drag their freight of passengers along the iron roads, and the scream of the engines took the place of the cheerful notes of the posthorn.

The quaint-looking pictures and curious names which attract our notice as we pass an inn door have some queer stories to tell. We notice a very curious collection of animals sometimes, and a strange assortment of things; and the reason why our ancestors put some of these curious things together is somewhat difficult for us to find out. In olden days, other houses of tradesmen besides inns had signs. Grocers, tailors, candlestick-makers, all had signs; but most of these have disappeared.

One reason for the curious mixture of animals and other things which we see on signboards is that an apprentice, when he had finished his time and begun to set up for himself, adopted some sign, and then joined with
it the sign of his old master. This will account for such curiosities as "The Lamb and Dolphin," "The Goose and Gridiron," "The Fox and Seven Stars," combinations of things for which it would otherwise be difficult to account. Another reason is that signs were taken from the armorial bearings, or crests, of some popular character, or of some great family in the neighbourhood. For example, I may mention "The Bear with the Ragged Staff," which was the crest of Richard Nevil, Earl of Warwick, commonly called "The Kingmaker," who was slain in the battle of Barnet, 1471 A.D. "The Blue Boar" was one of the badges of the House of York. "The Bull" is a very common sign, because it was a very common crest, and we have them in all colours--black, red, white; lions also rage in blue, white, and red attire. Sometimes we meet with "The Cross Keys," the keeper of which was probably an old servant or tenant of an abbey or monastery, and chose his sign from that of the monastery with which he was connected. Frequently, in olden times, a cross was erected at the meeting of two or three roads, or where the pilgrims to Canterbury used to pass; afterwards an inn was built near it, and was, in many cases, called the Cross Inn.

One very common cause of curious signs is the way in which the original word has been corrupted by ignorant people frequently repeating words which they did not understand, and thus changing their whole meaning.
You may have seen an inn described as "The Swan with Two Necks"--a very rare bird indeed. But it was never intended to disfigure the bird by giving it two necks; the original sign was "The Swan with Two _Nicks_" and nicks were the marks which were cut on a swan's bill to distinguish it from other swans, so that it might be known to whom the bird belonged. But _nicks_ became _necks_ in course of conversation, until at last a fabulous creature with two beautifully curved necks appeared on the signboard. This same cause will account for the two strange signs, "Bull and Gate" and "Bull and Mouth." The original signs were "Boulogne Gate" and "Boulogne Mouth," _i.e._ the gate and harbour of the town of Boulogne, in France, which was captured by the English under King Henry VIII. in the year 1544. The English were very pleased to hear of thedefeat of the French, and of the taking of that important town, and several inns were named in honour of the event; but the French "Boulogne" was too much for our good English mouths to speak, so it became "Bull and."

Another name which puzzled our forefathers was "_La Belle Sauvage_" ("the Beautiful Savage"), which was named after a noted savage beauty who was the rage at Paris. Others assert that the name of the landlady
was Isabella Savage, shortened into Bella Savage. However, in course of time the name was altered into "Bell and Savage," and a picture representing this odd combination stood over the door. In the same way the original sign, "Whip and Nag," between which there is often a very close connection, became "Whip and Egg"; and the reason why these two articles should be placed together is not so evident. So also there does not seem any reason for an inn to be called "Bag o' Nails"; but when we are told that the original word was "Bacchanals," _i.e._ followers of Bacchus, the old god of wine, we can understand how the corruption, "Bag o' Nails," arose. Before the days of licensing, when everyone could sell liquor who chose without obtaining any licence from the magistrates, it was the custom to put a bush over the doorway, in order to inform the passers-by that liquor could be purchased there. This is the origin of the saying, "Good wine needs no bush."

"The Catherine Wheel" tells us the sad story of St. Catherine, who was born at Alexandria, and for converting fifty heathen philosophers to Christianity was sentenced by the Emperor Maxentius to death on a wheel, devised by most ingenious cruelty, armed with knives, saws, and nails. It is recorded that she was rescued from this fate, but was afterwards beheaded (305 A.D.). It is curious that this instrument of torture and the story of St. Catherine's heroism should be recorded on a signboard. But it may have been brought before the public by a certain miracle play, founded on the life of St. Catherine, which used to be performed on festival days. However, the Catherine wheel appears frequently on the coats-of-arms of several families, and it may be that the sign was taken from these.

"The George," also, is a very popular sign; and the "St. George of merry England" is the patron saint of this country, and the battle-cry of her knights and yeomen of ancient days. Who does not remember that stirring scene on St. George's Mount during the Crusades, described in Sir Walter Scott's _Talisman_, when King Richard tore down the Austrian banner, which the Austrian monarch had dared to erect beside the Royal
Standard of England? St George is generally represented as slaying a dragon. He was a soldier who served gallantly under the Emperor Diocletian, and commanded a legion of soldiers; he was a Christian, and by the dragon whom he slew is meant the devil, red with the blood of the Christians. So popular a personage as St. George, whose name inspired our ancestors with courage, and was often borne by them into the heart of the foe, would soon be recorded in paintings and become a general sign. "The Goat" is a common sign, and is taken from the crest of the Duke of Bedford; but "The Goat and Compasses" has puzzled many people as to its origin. It appears to be a corruption of a pious expression, "God encompasseth us"; and this shows how strangely words may be twisted and converted by ignorant and careless usage.

There are some very noted inns where great events have taken place, such as the Bull Inn at Coventry. Here Henry VII. was entertained the night before the battle of Bosworth Field, when he won for himself the English crown. Here Mary Queen of Scots was detained by order of Elizabeth. Here the conspirators of the Gunpowder
Plot met to devise their scheme for blowing up the Houses of Parliament. And when the citizens refused to open their gates to Charles I. and his soldiers, no doubt there were great disputings amongst the frequenters of "The Bull" as to what would be the result of their disloyal refusal.

Some of the inns in remote country places did not enjoy a very enviable reputation, and were little better than man-traps, where the unfortunate traveller was robbed and murdered. At Blewbury, in Berkshire, there was an inn, the landlord of which was suspected of murdering his guests with great secrecy and mystery, and no one could
tell what he did with the bodies of the victims he was supposed to have murdered. Some years ago an old tree in the neighbourhood of the inn was blown down, and on digging up the roots a skeleton was found among them. People wondered how it could have been placed there, but at last a very old inhabitant told the story of the mysterious disappearance of the bodies of the late landlord's guests, and the mystery was at length accounted for. Whenever he slew a man he planted a tree, placing the body of the murdered victim beneath it. The constables never thought of looking there; and probably under every tree which he planted (and there were several), when their roots are dug up, the bones of his numerous victims will be discovered.

Another story is connected with the old "Hind's Head" at Bracknell, which was another of these man traps, where many travellers slept to rise no more. One winter's night a stout-hearted farmer stayed there, and joined several jovial companions round the kitchen fire. They ate and drank merrily, and at last the serving-maid showed the traveller to his chamber. She told him that he was surrounded by robbers and murderers, showed him a trap-door at the side of the bed, on which if he stepped he would tumble headlong into a deep well. She directed him
to tie the bed into a bundle, put it on the trap-door, and escape by the window. He did so; down went the bundle, instead of the farmer, into the well, and he managed to effect his escape. Rousing the neighbourhood he captured the villains, who were all executed, and the bones of many of their victims were found in the well. Happily such
inns were rare.

To discuss the history of our English inns would take much more than a web page and hopefully one we can come back to in the future but if you are looking for somewhere to start of detecting - give it some research. Some of the inns may now be demolished. But give it some thought. If you were a traveller or soldier looking for somewhere to hide a hoard, it would make sense to leave it somewhere you could find it. Perhaps a large tree by the inn??