9 acre field project.

Please tell us a little about your finds and if possible add a few pictures.
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Easylife
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9 acre field project.

Post by Easylife » Fri Jun 14, 2019 2:42 am

Seeing as it's been a bit quiet on here for finds recently due to dry ground followed by the current heavy rain I thought I'd share an experience and finds from near fully detecting a 9 acre pasture horse-field a while ago.
It came about by extreme chance, I parked on a greenwaste field and had planned to detect on some other cleaner land nearby, but when I got my gear out of the car I looked around and thought I may as well give the Nox a ½ hr spin on the green-waste field before moving onto more pleasant detecting ground. But about 10 minutes in I noticed someone in the adjoining horse-field that I had always thought would be quite nice to detect on, so I purposely made my way over there with the intention to gain that land. It just so happened to be the landowner themselves and after a casual chat about local history and my finds from the surrounding area they openly offered me their land to detect without me even having to ask.

I had a fair idea of the likely type of finds to come as I had detected on the surrounding land for quite a while. I did the usual research and decided to give it full detector coverage as a kind of personal project. I use a Garmin Etrex 20x GPS to track and record my sessions which I later import to Google Earth for my own reference as at a glance I can see where I've been and how well I've covered an area as well as plotting the older finds to see if there's any pattern at all. I knew that the field had never previously seen a metal detector before as it had been in the owners family for several generations and the presence of frequent targets supported that. About 60% of the field consisted of large patches of grass munched down by the horses to within millimetres of the smooth surface – so quite perfect like a bowling green. The remaining 40% was large patches of rough clumpy grass & nettles though still quite detectable and where the horses habitually did their do do's. So naturally I covered all of the easier ground first. The timing was quite good as it was just before the ground became noticeably drier and the nettles started growing fast. I'd quite recently bought the 15” coil for my Nox 800 so decided to just use that to cover the whole field rather than changing coils at all. In anticipation of unknown finds to come and having no time limit I took a relaxed but quite thorough approach soaking up the enjoyment of getting to know this new permission.
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On my very first visit I just had a random wander about to get a feel for the land and what type of targets it held. Searching in all metal showed there to be quite a general iron presence with surprisingly few clear patches, so it took a little while to get an accurate ground balance at first. Regardless I felt the 15” coil to be doing an admiral job and coping just fine making some very deep as well as very small finds and I really learnt a lot about the Nox under those conditions and will likely give it another run over with a smaller coil sometime?
I'm always quite wary of horses and there were four of the completely unknown characters in this field. No matter whether cattle or horses there always seems to be one in particular that takes an unwanted interest in me and my pursuit, and there was no exception right here from the start.
I couldn't believe it when on my very first day one of the horses just casually walked over and then bit me on the arm for no reason, so after that I was extra wary of that one, the mark lasted for about a week. Still the field showed initial signs of potential to produce some good finds and on the first day I scored a number of Georgian coins, some lead weights and a Medieval key.
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On two other days I was directly galloped at by that very same horse, only to avert a collision it seemed by raising my detector & spade and shouting expletives at the git, but I'm not one to be easily deterred and I was on a mission so the horse just had to get used to me being there and fortunately it did. After it's initial objections it just settled down and left me alone, in fact it wouldn't even come anywhere near me again after that despite my good intentioned gestures, but I really didn't mind at all.

Subsequent visits showed there to be quite a lot of foil present but not much scrap or modern finds really, which seemed a bit peculiar but I wasn't complaining about the latter, but just the amount of foil. Still most visits to the field produced at least one particularly decent find and also silver in various forms, so it was always quite inspiring to go back there. Of the silver finds were a horse-shoe brooch hallmarked Chester 1895, a 1930's Webb & Mappin silver plated spoon, and various other unmarked bits including coins. In total eleven bits of silver came out overall so averaging about one per acre.
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But the best silver find was this 16th century mount that was cast in a cuttlefish mould that qualifies as a 'treasure' item.
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There was no particular pattern to any of the older finds which overall showed to be quite randomly spaced over the field, neither has it any footpaths nor any features of note. Surprisingly though there was a patch of 10 pre-decimal QEII coins fairly central in the field and I've never known so many of them to show up in one go from anywhere else, so I guess it just reflects some use at the time. There were a fair few coins overall totalling about 80 which consisted of about 20 Georgian, 20 Victorian, 10 pre-decimal QEII, and 20 decimal and a few others though the field has been used for horses for many decades since it's last cultivated use. There were just three silver sixpences, a young Vicky that looks like it has been in a fire, a 1898 old head Vicky, and a 1932 George V. Also a George III sixpence forgery, I do like these forgeries just as much as the real coins, and this one will complement my other seven George III shilling forgeries. There were a few tokens also, including a Victorian farthing token issued by a local tea warehouse, a George III copper Guinea token or gaming counter, and a 1799 John Wilkinson Iron Master half penny token in quite reasonable condition.
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A call of nature beckoned so I made my way to the nearest corner of the field, close to the brambles where I placed my detector I noticed a sharp target of 19, so after relieving myself I dug it and what a moment it was for me, the digging I mean! Hammered coins are extremely rare around here so I took some time out to savour the moment of finding this James I sixpence of 1605.
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There were less buttons than expected, but surprisingly only one military button as they tend to frequently show around here.
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Also less buckles too.
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But of those the 16th century snake buckle from a sword belt was most welcome but required a good electrolysis zap to reveal it at it's former best.
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There were quite a lot of bits of old scrap lead but also a decent amount of lead spindle whorls and weights as well as the odd pot leg.
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Just the one decorated spindle whorl, but they always bring a smile.
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A few lead toys and bits, including a 1953 commemorative throne.
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A quite rare 16th century decorated spur terminal.
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Five copper alloy finger rings turned up and more watch winders than expected. Also an Anglo-Saxon cruciform brooch of about 500 AD, well the top half of one – shame that the lower half didn't turn up also, but I really wouldn't be surprised if a plough hadn't pulled it from a shallow burial.
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Even though the horse-field is rented out the landowner comes down every now and again for an escape. She had no sooner been there about 10 minutes when I pulled out this hallmarked 1937 9ct gold watch which was the first find that I ever showed her, it was quite nice that she only showed some interest in it's history but none whatsoever in it's scrap value at all.
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A few bits of pottery, clay pipe and animal teeth also showed in the dig holes. Middle piece is Medieval.
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Just to top it off at the end of my very last visit I detected a good deep target and unearthed a rather decent sized live round, my largest yet, well it's far bigger than the usual .303's that I quite often find, the impacting bit had clearly been broke off by a plough and oddly it was the only other ammunition to show apart from a single lead pistol shot over the whole 9 acres as I had expected quite a bit more. There is evidence of military training in this area but maybe not in this particular field as the finds show? A live .50? round for perhaps a Vickers machine gun?
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A round up of some of the better bits.
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So that's what came off a 9 acre horse-field when gone over quite well low and slow. Either way it was quite a refreshing change in a way to detect this particular field, quite fun, and likely the best conditions to really get to grips with any detector. As always we never quite know just what's really there until we put in the effort to find out and I know that there are still a few more bits to come off this one.

And on the way back to the car I found …...................a mob of young cattle charging to greet me like a bunch of groupies. We kind of got acquainted and they just got quite licky in a very friendly way!
Image

Gee, if only my neighbouring fields were not spoilt by green-waste? But hey ho, such is life!


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Re: 9 acre field project.

Post by Saffron » Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:10 am

A great selection of finds and lovely write up, very many thanks for taking the time and making the effort to do so.

I had to smile at the "Subsequent visits showed there to be quite a lot of foil present", I would even be very confident that it was very thin foil. The field has a well established history of horses ..... horses love polo mints, and owners and riders always give them to horses as treats ..... but they are wrapped in foil.

The bulk of my permissions are equestrian and I dig lots of foil on them. Yet on the adjacent fields without an equestrian background it is rare.

Evan

ps: yet another post to tempt me to get the 15" coil!

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Re: 9 acre field project.

Post by Ladybird66 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:33 am

All I can say is, oh if only !
I remember the cuttlefish Mount, very nice, but didn’t realise you’d had sooo many other finds. What a result. One thing you didn’t mention is how many visits you made. Surely not just one.
Nice report, well written and interesting.
Just love the Cobb. Had one like that myself. Bought him as a foal, called him ‘Hairy Harry’. Reminded me of the the Big-Foot in a film from years ago. (Can’t remember the name)

Thanks for post :D ::g

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Re: 9 acre field project.

Post by ajb6864 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:01 am

Thank you for the great write-up, it was a very enjoyable read.

Alan

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Re: 9 acre field project.

Post by fred » Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:17 am

Well done mate, great write up. ::g

That lot looks pretty typical of my experiences on most of my fields too. It's fun anyway but the important bit is the location, the exercise and the company! :)
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Re: 9 acre field project.

Post by Oxgirl36 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:19 am

Love it when someone takes the effort to write up a full story. Well done Easylife, bet you enjoyed that field :D

Where next? That’s the question. Wherever it is I hope it’s as much fun ::g
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Re: 9 acre field project.

Post by Easylife » Fri Jun 14, 2019 8:59 am

Saffron wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:10 am
The bulk of my permissions are equestrian and I dig lots of foil on them. Yet on the adjacent fields without an equestrian background it is rare.
That's a good point that I had not considered. ::g
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Re: 9 acre field project.

Post by Easylife » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:07 am

Saffron wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:10 am

ps: yet another post to tempt me to get the 15" coil!
Well mine's not been off since I got it as on pasture I feel that the extra ground coverage and depth increase are beneficial. It finds small items like air gun pellets and seems better than it should be for target separation. Though the extra weight does unbalance the Nox more. ::g
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Re: 9 acre field project.

Post by Roughwood » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:15 am

Fantastic!

A real pleasure to read, and what a great range of finds. ::g
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Re: 9 acre field project.

Post by SuperRed » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:22 am

A great report and lovely pics Easy... enjoyed that. I particularly like the pic of the lead finds (always welcome to me). A couple that look like gaming pieces?

The field you describe is uncannily similar to one of mine (apart from the moo-cows). Mine is exactly the same size, horse pasture as far back as I can establish, iron grunts wherever I put the coil down, and finds ranging the centuries (although mine stretches from iron age to modern).

You mention trying the small coil on the field. Well worth a try... I picked up a few bits from areas I had tried before, but I used it mainly for the surrounding undergrowth. Still useful in the open areas, but frustratingly slow. I pretty much use the 15" as standard on these type of permissions now.

Thanks for taking the time.

Brad
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Re: 9 acre field project.

Post by Easylife » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:24 am

Ladybird66 wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:33 am
What a result. One thing you didn’t mention is how many visits you made. Surely not just one.
What, 9 acres in one day! - I'm not superman. :D
My track log shows that I made 15 visits but I did cover some areas twice in the opposite direction where the better finds were. ::g
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Re: 9 acre field project.

Post by Easylife » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:34 am

Oxgirl36 wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:19 am
Love it when someone takes the effort to write up a full story. Well done Easylife, bet you enjoyed that field :D

Where next? That’s the question. Wherever it is I hope it’s as much fun ::g
I did enjoy it Cath, though there were a few patches with not so much as a piece of foil for about 1/2 hr then suddenly back into the coins and silver. I gave up trying to put any logic to where the finds were.

Where's next? Well I think it will have to be where the grass is the shortest, and that is a field that the farmer has recently mowed that contains BA features and green-waste. I'll see how long I can stand it for. x;
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Re: 9 acre field project.

Post by shaggybfc » Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:55 am

Do you people not sleep? Posting at silly o'clock in the morning..

Great read Easylife, and some nice finds to boot, well done. I love reading the stories and seeing the finds behind it ::g

I was also thinking that recently it'd been a little slow on here for 'nice' finds. If it wasn't for Lowland and now yourself, I'd have been suffering withdrawal symptoms. Saying that, Rory's been quiet for the last couple of days... I suspect he's only gone and found something really special :D
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Re: 9 acre field project.

Post by Easylife » Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:02 am

SuperRed wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:22 am
A great report and lovely pics Easy... enjoyed that. I particularly like the pic of the lead finds (always welcome to me). A couple that look like gaming pieces?

The field you describe is uncannily similar to one of mine (apart from the moo-cows). Mine is exactly the same size, horse pasture as far back as I can establish, iron grunts wherever I put the coil down, and finds ranging the centuries (although mine stretches from iron age to modern).

You mention trying the small coil on the field. Well worth a try... I picked up a few bits from areas I had tried before, but I used it mainly for the surrounding undergrowth. Still useful in the open areas, but frustratingly slow. I pretty much use the 15" as standard on these type of permissions now.

Thanks for taking the time.

Brad
Hi Brad, This whole area goes back to Neolithic but the oldest finds so far have just been very occasional Roman items though I did have a 10th century Saxon brooch close by, apart from this horse-field the surrounding fields contain aluminium green-waste so are quite laborious but about okay in small doses.
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Re: 9 acre field project.

Post by Easylife » Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:20 am

shaggybfc wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:55 am

Great read Easylife, and some nice finds to boot, well done. I love reading the stories and seeing the finds behind it ::g

I was also thinking that recently it'd been a little slow on here for 'nice' finds. If it wasn't for Lowland and now yourself, I'd have been suffering withdrawal symptoms. Saying that, Rory's been quiet for the last couple of days... I suspect he's only gone and found something really special :D
Andi
Hi Andi, I've been meaning to share this story for a while but thought I'd save it until it was quiet on here. But now that the ground everywhere has had a good soaking I expect there will soon be more finds shown on here. ::g
I'm sure we'll find out soon enough of Rory's latest exploits. :D
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Re: 9 acre field project.

Post by Lowland » Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:52 am

Cracking stuff easylife,I appreciate the effort that went into that ::g
Some super finds,inspires me to get out and about.
Well done with the big silver....
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Re: 9 acre field project.

Post by Saki » Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:42 am

Such a brilliant read Easylife. Thanks for this insight. Some lovely finds. :D ::g It brings the history alive ::g
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Re: 9 acre field project.

Post by kenleyboy » Fri Jun 14, 2019 12:05 pm

Well written and a very enjoyable read . Well found with the hammered coin , what a bonus find but equally the remaining finds spread over various visits makes that field very interesting . I do like the keys and crotal bells . Very interesting account ,thank you .
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Re: 9 acre field project.

Post by Dave The Slave » Fri Jun 14, 2019 2:11 pm

Easylife, really enjoyed your great write up, complete with photos.
That was a lot to come off 9 acres but by going over it slowly, the much thorough search yielded more.
Thanks for taking the time to put that together.
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Re: 9 acre field project.

Post by Ladybird66 » Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:23 pm

Easylife wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:24 am
Ladybird66 wrote:
Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:33 am
What a result. One thing you didn’t mention is how many visits you made. Surely not just one.
What, 9 acres in one day! - I'm not superman. :D
My track log shows that I made 15 visits but I did cover some areas twice in the opposite direction where the better finds were. ::g

:D Even after 15 visits I doubt I’d have that much to show. What a shame about the green waste in the other fields. I’ve only encountered it a couple of times and it made hell out of what should have been a pleasant afternoon. It’ll take years for it to disappear, if it ever does.

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Re: 9 acre field project.

Post by Doyoudigitman » Fri Jun 14, 2019 4:46 pm

Great write up and a great read easylife well done ::g

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Re: 9 acre field project.

Post by Swany » Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:26 pm

Very nice write up mate, that is some field, lots of cracking stuff there ::g
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Re: 9 acre field project.

Post by thefiggis » Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:53 pm

Thanks for the story, Easy. Some cracking finds across a broad range there ::g

And I just love that pic of the young cattle.
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