Digging the garden: first lead soldier

When I bought my first detector in October 2011 I did what I imagine most people in that situation do – I tried it out in the garden, listening to the various squeaks, squawks and bleeps it made as it skimmed over the grass. What I did not do was actually dig any of the signals, essentially because I felt rather ridiculous and self-conscious wandering around under the curtain-twitching gaze of the neighbours, doing something even madder looking than usual. Having recently upgraded the Deus’s software to v3.0 the garden now seemed as good a place as any to see what changes had been made. Over the weekend I have made 3 or 4 attempts to detect and dig the garden, but each time it began to rain quite heavily within a few minutes of my starting and I fled indoors.

By far the best of the few finds was a lead soldier, the first toy of any sort that I have found, which came as a complete surprise. The figure most likely dates from 1900-1950 but what is now my garden would have been open farmland until the mid to late 1970s. The closest dwellings to this spot which predate that development are a half-timbered farmhouse about 400m to the north-east and an early 19th century red-brick farmhouse about 300m to the east and both were no doubt surrounded by their respective fields. If the toy was not lost by a child from either of those habitations, he must have been roaming quite some distance from home.

The figure appears to represent a knight in armour of approximately the early to mid 13th century. Enough paint remains to show that the horse was originally black and that the knight is wearing a red surcoat over chainmail.

knight1

knight2

Finds: 1 lead soldier, 2x 5p coins and 1 crosshead screw/bolt.

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