After more than 18 months spent on various fields with virtually nothing to show for the effort, I must conclude that there simply is nothing to find. When I first spoke to the farmer in October 2011 and he said I could detect on the farm, he warned me that a number of other detectorists had tried it in the past but given up when they found nothing. But it’s always worth a try, isn’t it? Especially when it’s your first personal permission.
I suspect I know what the problem is:
- It’s a small but strangely shaped parish
- There is no village or other population centre in it
- It supported no services such as a pub or school, merely a small and rather poor parish church
- The labourers serving the farms in the parish probably lived in the substantial village in the next parish, less than a mile away
- Other than that village there is no other settlement for several miles in any direction
- The censuses from 1841 onwards show a population of no more than 120, gradually declining as the 19th century progressed
In other words, there were very few people in the parish to be dropping or throwing away the sort of things that detectorists tend to find.
I’m obviously going to have to bring more, and better, permissions on line. While I don’t now expect to detect on this particular farm in future with any regularity there’s no point in burning bridges with the farmer. If nothing else, I know I can always go back there if there’s nowhere else to detect.