This site actually lists only a small number of the drovers roads that were used in the olden days. If you read the "Recognising the Routes" section and other online resources on the drovers roads you may well identify others in your area.
Even if detecting them fails to find that elusive hoard you will still learn more about your local area.
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Thanks, Bargeman, what a really informative site. Thoroughly enjoyable reading.
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Many routes lead to market towns or capitals, lots of overnight rest points too, first used as general travel paths possibly
Potential of a wide age of finds from over the years
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One of the fields I search about a mile or two south of Banbury is called drovers rest on the old farmers field maps in his study,
They would rest, water & graze the animals for a day or two to put a bit of weight back on them after all that walking, then give them a scrub & brush down to make them look better before the short last walk to Banbury market.
Another permission had a derelict very old fallen down thatched building that was a drovers inn from as far back as the 16th century, where bridleways & footpaths all meeting together, the hedges were much wider than the paths & two big ponds for drinking, plenty of finds like coins, lots of buckles, a few rings & loads of crotal bells, with some nice pottery & clay pipe bowls all over the fields,
One of my favourite places.
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The drovers always camped near a water source and ideally an inn. It is said that they put boots on geese to cover greater distance. The drove masters carried a lot of cash returning home from market, so possibly a bit of gold was lost.
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There are several other articles on this site that could interest people including one on Deserted Medieval Village.
Interesting that Easylife said about the ridgeway on his permission as this article says "Cattle drovers steered clear of the settled population; for most of their length, routes ran over isolated ridgeways and kept away from villages, a strategy which had the added benefit of avoiding hefty turnpike fees and delays."
Stanslad is also spot on when he says "They would rest, water & graze the animals for a day or two to put a bit of weight back on them after all that walking, then give them a scrub & brush down to make them look better before the short last walk to Banbury market.", this obviously applied to most markets.
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when i first started detecting back in the late 1980s i did no research at all and just went out on my fields and the field right by my house of about seven acres was producing coins every few feet, i found hundreds and still can find them thirty years on. mostly william 111 and georges so mostly rubbish but a few good ones and silver mixed in.
Anyway the story goes on and one of my friends was in the local pub on a lunchtime and a lady came in (a detectorist) and said she had done some research and who owned this particular field because she had identified it as the end of a drovers run ! He obviously told her but i never met this lady although she may have called in at the farm and there was no one about. But at least i knew the reason for all the finds.
Another thing that may help you is that if you see a bunch of pine trees that look out of place for the area these were planted as identification marks for a watering place and can be seen in quite a few parts of the country.
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