Two new small pasture permissions

This afternoon I went out prospecting for a few hours.

My first port of call was at a mixed farm (cattle, sheep and horses) that I had originally called at a few weeks ago. On that occasion I had spoken to the stable girl who told me there had been people detecting on the land in the past so I left my card with her to pass on to the owners. Despite several other visits it wasn’t until today that I caught up with one of them. It seems my card and the fact of my first visit had not been passed on, so I left another card with the chap who wanted to discuss it with his wife. I’m not sure whether this will come good in the end but if it does it looks like a good 100+ acres.

Next port of call was a bit out of the way. The farmer told me he did a bit of detecting on his land himself so didn’t want anyone else to go on it. Fair enough. We had a long chat, during which he brought out a Garrett Ace 150 (?) which it seems someone had given him. He asked me about the sort of things I had found, asked me how his detector works and took on board my suggestion that he buy some headphones so he could hear faint signals better. Then he suggested that I try X at Y. Good lead.

On the way to Y, I called in at another place I passed on the off-chance and spoke to the landowner. Bingo! The land is currently rented out to a tenant who is vacating it in about 5 or 6 weeks and after that I can have a go. The landowner has owned it for at least 45 years and bought it from a family friend. It has never been detected.

Land: 32 acres

Called in at Y and spoke to X. Apparently someone has detected at least part of this farm but this was some years ago and he has since died. X seemed uncertain as to how long ago it had been detected. There are about 100 acres under arable and 50 under grass. The grass is three fields of which only the smallest is old pasture, the others having previously been arable under plough and only put down to grass in the past couple of years. So not only is the land available all year, but finds won’t have had chance to sink below detector range. Best of all, I can start this week.

Land: 50 acres

Celebrated with coffee and cake at a nearby garden centre.

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A disappointing afternoon’s detecting

Keen to continue detecting the footpath near where I found the hammy on Wednesday, I headed out again this afternoon. Last time I forgot my coffee. Today I forgot the detector. It dawned on me two miles down the road so I had to go back home and get it. Plonker.

I wanted to show the farmer the hammy but he wasn’t around so I showed it to his dad instead. Dad was astonished that so small an item could be found, but he also mentioned that the footpath shown on current maps was not the original one. Apparently it was diverted (legally) in the 1960s because the owners of the farm across the boundary didn’t want it going through their garden. Instead of it following the field boundary as it does now, it previously crossed the field at a diagonal. At least that saved me spending hours detecting a modern footpath.

In any event, it was a very disappointing afternoon. Four hours detecting turned up three enormous lumps of agricultural machinery, a copper ring, an iron ring, an iron horse harness buckle, part of a nylon headcollar with attached buckle, some wire and half a dozen pieces of foil. The only halfway decent find of the session was the spout part of an ale cask tap. I really need to get back onto the field where the rheas are at present and detect the areas around the productive areas previously detected.

I also need some new permissions.

Finds

1 ale cask tap (part)
1 modern buckle (bent, crappy)

150410 Finds

More spoons, lead seals and a hammy

It was such a lovely afternoon it would have been criminal to let it go to waste. So out I went, back to Permission 1 – the barren one which makes me sweat blood for every half decent find. I had hoped to return to the field which produced two fruitful afternoons last month, but the rhea are still in it and apparently they are even randier now than they were then. I didn’t fancy my chances. As a result I decided to try a field I’ve not detected before.

From the start it looked as though it was going to be a crap afternoon. Not only did I forget my flask of coffee, but Tect O Trak, the app I’m currently using on the phone for tracking my movements round fields and logging finds, decided not to work again.

By far the best find of the day was a tiny hammy (12mm x 10mm and 0.32g and therefore probably a farthing), the first I have found on this permission, which came from just off a public footpath running through the farm and was about 10″ down. Well done the Deus. Presumably this is evidence of a sort that the footpath was probably being used in the medieval period if not earlier, so systematically detecting the path on a future visit seems like a good move. Unfortunately the coin is poorly struck and off centre so whether it will be possible to identify the mint and moneyer remains to be seen. I will try to upload larger and clearer images of both sides of the coin as soon as possible in the hope that someone can fully identify it.

And another pewter spoon, or rather part of one. They seem to be surprisingly common on this farm for some reason. I’m starting to think of it as Death of Spoons Farm.

And two lead seals – one from a case of Moët & Chandon champagne and the other probably from a fertiliser sack, though I can’t make out the name of the company concerned.

Finds

1 hammy
1 pewter spoon (part)
1 nickel-plated spoon
1 bag seal
1 Moet & Chandon champagne case seal
1 small ring

150408 Finds

Treated myself to some jeweller’s scales

Some time ago I bought a digital caliper from Aldi for measuring finds precisely. I’ve now added a set of jeweller’s pocket scales to my armoury for weighing finds precisely. All I need now is to find some precious metal to weigh.

There are plenty of these things about, virtually all made in China. I went for the On Balance Truweigh scale which weighs up to 100g in 0.01g increments. It also weighs in dwt (pennyweight), grains and carats (?) and needs a 100g calibrating weight to initially set it up and then to keep it accurate.

It struck me that pennyweight is precisely that – the official weight of an English silver hammered penny.

scales