First detecting session in yonks

On such a glorious spring day yesterday there was no excuse for not getting out to do some detecting. So out I went yesterday afternoon.

Not only was it my first detecting session since the autumn, it was the first trip back to my first, or No 1, permission in about a year. Nos 1 and 2 are pasture permissions so, in theory, available all year. However No 2 has cattle in and No 1 has sheep, and if I am to risk getting between livestock and their young I would rather it was sheep and lambs than cows and calves.

To be honest I wasn’t expecting to find much at all. No 1 produced a few nice bits and bobs from one particular field when I first stated detecting there, but since then it has been pretty barren – so much so that I have toyed with simply abandoning it. Still, a permission is a permission and the farmer is happy to have me there.

Part of the farm is inaccessible at present. One field that leads to several others is currently occupied by a handful of alpacas and half a dozen or so rheas. The alpacas I knew about. The rheas I didn’t. The young male rhea is apparently rather frisky at present and he and the older male have had a few set-tos recently which I didn’t fancy ending up in the middle of, so I went off to a field that I’ve detected before, albeit briefly, but which has produced only a few uninteresting finds in the past.

I started by detecting along the line of a public footpath and bits and bobs started coming up almost immediately. Part of a pewter spoon, then a buckle, a button, another buckle, an iron ring, another button and so on. Over 4 hours of wandering around one end of the field it turned into the most productive session I’ve had on this farm for quite a while and makes me think that while it’s never likely to produce anything spectacular, it’s worth going back for the odd session from time to time.

The most interesting item of the day was a long, thin, copper alloy item (at the bottom of the finds photo) which at first I thought was just a bolt, but when the mud was brushed off started to look like a pipe tamper (I’ve not found one of those so far so it would have been a first). However it has a nobble on the end which, when I researched it at home, sounded more like the handle of a litten spoon, which were frequently cast in a copper alloy and in use from c1550 to c1650. It’s one for the FLO anyway, along with at least two of the buckles.

It was a surprisingly warm day, with a clear sky and not a breath of wind, so I ended up shedding the fleece and detected in a t-shirt. I detected almost until sunset, when it was still warm enough (OK, about 10º C) for just the t-shirt. It’s strange how you get these odd really spring-like, almost early-summer, days in March.

Finds

1 pewter spoon handle
1 copper alloy latten spoon (I think)
1 spectacle buckle, broken at one end
1 copper alloy buckle, outer only
1 small spectacle buckle, complete with pin
1 Elizabeth II half groat
1 funny-looking doodah (broken fragment, probably nothing)
3 small plain buttons

150310 Finds

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A few hours’ detecting

Took myself off to Permission 2 for a few hours’ detecting this afternoon – the first session in over a month.

Although the recent rain has softened the top inch or so of turf, below that the soil remains hard and difficult to dig – and even harder to reinstate afterwards. The field is still occupied by both sheep and cattle, and there are an awful lot of cowpats. Annoyingly, the best 3 or 4 signals of the afternoon were all under very fresh cowpats, and when I say “fresh” I mean fresh to the point of almost-still-steaming. Sod’s Law, eh? I spent the session in the top half of this first field, with an hour or so detecting each of three separate areas of the field. The last hour or thereabouts was spent at the far end and it was from this area that the afternoon’s few finds arose.

The spectacle buckle is the first such example that I’ve found. I’m not entirely clear as to the date but it will be somewhere between c1450 and c1700 so it’s one for the FLO. It’s just a shame that the pin, being iron, has rusted solid and spoiled the outline of the buckle itself. The musket ball is also a personal first. I doubt the FLO will be terribly interested in it but I will show her it anyway.

The penny is interesting for the degree of accretion that it has suffered. The date is not clear but appears to be 1930-something. The land was under plough until some 10 years ago, so whether the accretion is due to chemical fertilisers used before then or to urine etc from livestock since then I have no idea.

Finds: 1 musket ball, 1 small spectacle buckle and 1 badly accreted George V penny, c1930.

130910 finds