Two musket balls and a penny

On Sunday afternoon I headed back to the field I’ve been detecting recently.

I’ve been wondering how long I’d be able to get on it and today I found out. Not for much longer, as it happens, because one side has now been deep ploughed for some 20′ from the edge.

The effect of all the recent rain was plain to see. The cracks in the soil have almost closed up and are now only a few inches deep. More to the point, it’s a lot easier digging and suddenly there are signals where there hadn’t been any before. Unfortunately a lot of them were unmistakeably iron sounds but there were a handful of ambiguous to good signals which kept me occupied for a few hours.

My previous visits had covered most of two quarters in opposite corners of the field so the plan was to do one of the others in some depth and have a cursory scan of the fourth.

After an hour or two spent criss-crossing the 3rd quarter at various angles I’d found a musket ball, an iron ring and a strange strip of filigree-ish metal. My best guess about the latter is that it is possibly the bit from an old oil lamp that sat just below the wick control, but that seems unlikely in practice due to the softness of the metal. If anyone knows what it is, please let me know.

The last field quarter turned up a George III penny, another musket ball (though very poorly cast and probably a reject) and what appears to be a piece of copper alloy slag.

No doubt by now the rest of the field will have been ploughed and I’ve no idea whether it will be possible to detect on this land once it has been seeded. Some farmers seem quite relaxed about it and others not. I suppose I will have to broach the subject.


1 George II 1806 penny
2 musket balls
1 iron ring
1 piece of copper alloy slag
1 funny-looking doodah

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A lead weight and some flints

Another bright sunny afternoon and another few hours detecting yesterday.

I decided to access the land from the other direction, with a view to detecting at the far end of the permission. From the road the field slopes up to a ridge and then down again to where I had been detecting on other recent visits, but the ridge area had been churned up by cattle and was rather boggy so I ended up back more or less where I’d been detecting previously. I wandered along the upper edge of the field, down the slope along the line of the old footpath/hollow way and back along the bottom edge. There must be something about the geology of the field as the lower slopes are noticeably better drained than the top.

Once  again, finds were sparse.

  • The lead disk gave a cracking signal and as it appears to be completely plain I assume it’s a weight of some sort.
  • An iron ring. Also a cracking signal. I’m tempted to send this to Ged (PeaceHavens) for his collection.
  • 2 pieces of flint which came from a hole in which the signal came from a piece of nondescript metallic scrap.
  • Another fragment of a die cast toy, this time what appears to be the seat of a vintage car.

All of the finds except for the iron ring came from the line of the footpath, and the toy fragment was found only 15 yards or so from the one found last week.

The two pieces of flint fit together perfectly so obviously came from a single piece. It’s nothing I can put my finger on but there’s something about them that doesn’t look entirely natural so I will be showing them to the FLO next month. One piece in particular looks as thought it might have been intended as some sort of boring tool, but what do I know?

It was noticeable how much the days are drawing in now. Although sunset yesterday was officially at 16.18, the sun had dropped below a bank of cloud shortly before 4pm and the light was already fading perceptibly by then. In another month it will be setting well before 4pm so either morning or afternoon sessions are going to be short ones unless I start taking sandwiches as well as a flask of coffee and eat lunch in the field. Roll on spring.

Finds: 1 lead weight, 1 iron ring, 2 pieces of flint  and a piece of a die cast toy.

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