Old path or track on my permission?

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Steevo45
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Old path or track on my permission?

Post by Steevo45 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 1:50 pm

Was out yesterday and as I approached a stubble field I looked at the gradual slope running up the field and at the top is a very straight section 5-6 meters wide but only a few inches lower than the rest of the field, so slight they when you get close it disappears. Would this be a old track or pathway that even through plowing still remains slightly visible? I have seen maps from 1800s and no path is marked ?

Also on the same field I have found iron slag (I think) and a hunk of melted (unknown) metal with traces of charcoal stuck in it. Guessing the metal would not melt in a regular fire so could we guess that some form of metal working has gone on in that field?

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Re: Old path or track on my permission?

Post by brianc » Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:25 pm

I've got what appears to be a path running through my land and while it is obvious from above using Bing and Google maps side by side, I cannot find it documented on any old maps.

Also, there is not a stile or obvious entry point at the beginning where is appears to start in the very corner of the top field where it commences from the road. Therefore it does not appear to be a common footpath and it is unnoticeable from the ground.

It leads directly to a tree alongside a brook though. Fascinating and makes me curious so I am currently trying to trace it.
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Re: Old path or track on my permission?

Post by Oxgirl36 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:32 pm

Love finding unmapped paths. Worth seeing if it shows up on Lidar? I've found a few paths that are really ancient, but long abandoned (at least officially). In my view they are the most interesting as they aren't contaminated by modern rubbish and every signal promises much :D
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Re: Old path or track on my permission?

Post by Steevo45 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:40 pm

Strange isn't it, trying to imagine the land before it was as we see it now. I can't see anything ok Google Earth but when stood looking at the field it's so clearly a slight depression in the field. Will have to ask the farmer if ploughing that part brings up much rubble or if the ground feels different there

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Re: Old path or track on my permission?

Post by Steevo45 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:45 pm

Not found anything great on this field (yet!!) but as a rookie everything is a first and exciting! Found Dutch import lead cattle tags, a Victorian penny and lots of unidentifiable lead and copper bits and pieces but havnt covered much of it at all so anything is possible

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Re: Old path or track on my permission?

Post by Saffron » Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:07 pm

Remember reliable maps are fairly modern only going back a few hundred years, so you could well be seeing a track that went out of use before the area was mapped.

If the section is long enough try extending it on a map and see where it goes, if if no where obvious now maybe it went to a deserted medieval village. Or is it parallel with an existing road that could have replaced it?.

But by being on a slope my money would be on it just being an old farm track, which often would not be mapped, as going directly up or down the slope would avoid any risk of the cart tippping over which is a potential risk if crossing a slope on a diagonal.

However, if you are right about the metal working that would have required a fair amount of raw materials and this could be the main access. If a large field is the slag and metal spread evenly or more concentrated in one spot?. IF in one spot and the possible track heads towards it then you might have the answer to both.

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Re: Old path or track on my permission?

Post by Steevo45 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:36 pm

Well if it is a path it leads to a wood know locally as castle wood the wood is a no go for permission but I'm guessing at some point there was castle or at least a large fortified building so maybe a track way leading to that, there is a long disused track way that leads into the woods in another direction with large gate posts rumoured to be a Roman road reused in medieval times.
A few strange pieces of metal have turned up that could be waste from metal production on this site only been on there 3 times and each time had them. They are smooth on one side and in very irregular rounded shapes like you would imagine cooled liquid metal to be one copper and another a unknown non metallic dull grey colour??

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Re: Old path or track on my permission?

Post by Saffron » Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:41 pm

I see you have only been detecting this year, but obviously still happy with your Christmas present ::g , so I will say always make a record of what you find (including the mundane items) and where.

Often several items found at different times might mean nothing on their own, but when looked at in slower time combining the various items together can enable you to build up an interesting picture / story of the lands use.

You say this field is stubble, so with modern farm equipment its likely to be large, but in the past it could well have been several smaller fields. Do the maps show this?. If so is all the iron slag and chunks of melted metal in the one?. Is this where the possible track is?.

IF the answers to these questions are "Yes" and you concentrate on that area you could find more slag, molten metal, charcoal to support your idea about metal working and maybe even items that had been made but broken, with luck you could even find more coins with a concentration in one date range which could help date the activity.

I know its a long shot and what you have found might be all there is, or there might be no pattern, but if you do not keep the records and analyse them every now and again you will never know. If nothing else they can make a nice read on a cold wet night.

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Re: Old path or track on my permission?

Post by Steevo45 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:51 pm

That's great advice, thanks. I will start taking a little map and note book with me. As I'm still very new to the hobby I tend to dig My fair share of junk as I'm not to sure what my detector is telling me sometimes and worry about missing good finds but I'm getting there, and can usual tell when it's a good or bad target I just find it hard to leave them haha

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Re: Old path or track on my permission?

Post by Saffron » Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:02 pm

Steevo45 wrote:
Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:36 pm
Well if it is a path it leads to a wood know locally as castle wood the wood is a no go for permission but I'm guessing at some point there was castle or at least a large fortified building so maybe a track way leading to that, there is a long disused track way that leads into the woods in another direction with large gate posts rumoured to be a Roman road reused in medieval times.
A few strange pieces of metal have turned up that could be waste from metal production on this site only been on there 3 times and each time had them. They are smooth on one side and in very irregular rounded shapes like you would imagine cooled liquid metal to be one copper and another a unknown non metallic dull grey colour??
Castle Wood certainly sounds promising, could reflect a castle once being there but might just be it belonged to a castle however with the other track into it could well suggest a castle there. Have you checked LIDAR maps, even with the trees they might show something - or even more detail about your track (even if Google Earth shows nothing).

With metal working you often get irregular rounded shapes bits which are smooth on one side (top) and rough on the other where the molten metal has splashed onto the rough floor / ground and solidified.

Castles needed a lot of people and many different trades to keep them running, so if there was a castle in the wood to have metal working nearby would be logical.

Is the dull grey metal lead?, or maybe pewter?. If you are a member of a club or go on open digs never be afraid to taken anything you are unsure about along and ask, we all started out knowing nothing and dug lots of "unidewntified" items / metals that now we would know exactly what they are.

Evan

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Re: Old path or track on my permission?

Post by Steevo45 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:10 pm

The dull grey metal deffinatly not lead to hard and not heavy enough compared it to the many bits of lead I've had there. I found a small piece of the same metal a few weeks ago and thought that might be pewter but didn't think of that with the larger piece. I'm not in a club or even know another detectorist so this forum is really my only source of help and assistance, luckily you are a lovely lot and help me out so thank you all

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Re: Old path or track on my permission?

Post by brianc » Sat Aug 12, 2017 2:48 pm

Just to update on the 'track' that I could see on Google Earth.

I spoke to the landowner and it turns out that it is a water flow that begins at the roadside ditch and flows down the field to the brook at the bottom of the field. Quite apparent in winter when the ditch overflows he said.

Hence that I could not see any pathway entrance and nothing on the old maps to show a footpath.

After speaking to the landowner - who drove up to me while I was busy backfilling the hole that I hag just dug - I've now got further permission to the land where the brook runs through, so I will be there in a hour's time to try that area.
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Re: Old path or track on my permission?

Post by Oxgirl36 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 6:04 pm

Nice! See if there is a spring feeding the stream. If there is they are worth a very thorough search. Good luck ::g
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