I’m Henry VIII I am….

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It was the turn of Bluff King Hal to be unearthed today….poor old Henry has had quite a life though. Nibbled, nadgered and gnarled …and clipped….but nevertheless its another Hammy from my new permission. From my research it seems to be a Tower Groat. These were actually struck after Henry’s death and into the reign of Edward VI. Incredibly light ((1.4g) even after it had been clipped: diameter 24mm) and of very poor quality of striking, you can see that the coinage was in a poor state of affairs during this period (1547-1551).

Hammie Live

After watching numerous You Tube videos on fellow detectorists recording the moment of their favorite finds…I thought I would have a go and share with you the moment when a lost 13th century silver coins gets saved from destruction in the plough soil…

The coin can just be seen 3/4 of the way down the right hand side of the photo frame before my trowel comes in and tries to eek it out of its 700 year old resting place.

Next time I will try and film for longer and add some commentary, but I hope you enjoy the thrill as much as did yesterday.

Edward III coming to light…

Here are the other Hammies found that day.

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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,200 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 20 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Its a funny old game…

You go out to the same fields…. and according to the research there is nothing there….and to be honest you find a load of tat…day after day…week after week and then…these:


Latest coins

For the uninitiated left to right:

Saxon Frisian Type D Sceat minted somewhere around 700AD – Probably a Flemish import. Weight 1.03g. EMC2014.0276

William I (The Conqueror) 1066-1087 – Weight 1.23g – Minted by GODRIC of London, somewhere between 1074-1077. EMC 2014.0277. Note Godric was a Saxon name. So William was still using Saxon moneyers for his coinage as his reign ended these important, prestigious roles went more and more to Norman/French moneyers and the Saxons names disappear. Fascinating….

Hentry III 1207-1272 (Continental Forgery of a Type 5 Long Cross Penny minted somewhere between 1250-1278/9) .

So you see as the great Greavsie would say…it’s a funny old game….but my word when you strike it lucky ….its a beautiful game too….

Roman Silver

This time of year its frustrating knowing the permissions you have and the finds just waiting to be found…but it does give you the chance to research the finds you made in the previous season.

For example, below is a silver siliqua. Found in Harlton last year it is a coin from the Emperor Valens (AD364-78).

Looking at the mint mark it seems to be a rare occurence in the UK at least of a coin struck in Rome itself somewhere around 364-7. According to Sam Morrhead’s excellent book on Roman coins only two other examples of this have been found in Britain to date. There are probably more to be fair but just not reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS). Image


On the obverse under the wreath section are two initials “R” and “Q”. These relate to the fourth workshop operating in Rome at this time.


So you see even though you cant get out on the fields there is plenty you can be “finding” nevertheless!


“Viking” SIlver Ingot

My second silver ingot …

Harlton Early Medieval Finds….

With everything under crop or water (!) at the moment I took the chance to visit some pasture I have permission on last weekend.I only had a couple of hours but had some good results….

First to pop out of the saturated clay was a lovely mid 13th Century vesica-shaped lead seal matrix. The intaglio device is an eight-pointed star incised into the central region. Unfortunately I have not got any wax or clay to make an impression so I cant decipher the legend. The back of the seal has a moulded-in-relief fleur-de-lys, and an integral lug at one end.


13th Century Lead Seal….but who owned it….?

Fleur De Lys reverse on 13th Centruty Lead Seal

The next item rescued out of the sludge was of a very similar date was a lovely hand made thimble…it’s a thrill to pick something up that was lost 700 years ago and last sat on a peasants finger as “she” did her sowing….magical….


Bee Hive Thimble – Hand Made 13-14th Century

IMG_5208Then another object was unearthed – possibly a trade weight or an Apothecary’s weight…it is has unusual design on its face – cross lines run horizontally and vertically. There is then a heart shaped device on the vertical angle with two pellets in the dissected lower quadrants….I will research the device as it may relate to a old Harlton Family..

All of these were found in about a 20m squared area of pasture, its what we call a “sweet spot” in the trade….no Hammered coins yet…but with such domestic/commercial finds…you can bet they are there!


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