Summer 2007



Viking Gold Ring

This beautiful gold ring, believed to be Viking, was found by club members Bill and Mary Severn. Unfortunately it was found on one of their sites and not a club one. The ring is now in the possession of the Finds Liaison Officer and we all await positive identification and the result of the Treasure Act procedure.

Display By The Ashfield Metal Detecting Club At The May 2007,
Sutton In Ashfield Heritage Society Meeting

Find Of The Month March 2007

Hammered silver penny of Bergred King of East Anglia 852—874.
Found by Richard Northey.
No illustration available.
Flat alloy medieval figure of a woman in a dress.
Found by Dennis Brown.
No illustration available.

Find Of The Year 2006 - 2007


Roman Gold Aureus

Nero AD 54 - 68

Reverse Concordia seated

Found By :

Bill French


Silver Gilt

Post Medieval Dress Hook

1500 - 1599 AD

Found By :

John Radford

Find Of The Month April 2007


Hammered Silver Penny

Bergred King of East Anglia

852 - 847 AD

Found By :

Bill French


Roman Brooch

Found By : Roger Bacon


Other April Finds

Edward III Hammered Half Penny
Found By : Dennis Brown
Roman Pin
Found By : Bill French

Find Of The Month May 2007


Henry VI hammered silver penny.
Calais mint, annulet issue 1422—1427.
It is plated in gold possibly for use in jewellery and may have been mounted, although there are no signs of this.

Found by Jeff Islip
It was also awarded the Club Rally best natural find cup.


Medieval Heraldic Horse Pendant

Found By : John Wardle


Where Have All The Detectorists Gone ?

This is the scene from a recent club search held in May, 2007. The site is ideal, land that had been pasture until two years ago, near to the centre of a village and close to fields that have produced Roman and hammered silver coins. The medieval horse pendant pictured above was one of the few finds made. The reason for this is a radio/telephone repeater mast in the next field made detecting nearly impossible with false signals every sweep of the coil.

Photographs Of The Ashfield Metal Detecting Club Display
In Individual Boards

2 3
4 5
6 7

Ashfield MDC Display

On the 2nd., of May, 2007, a talk and a small display of metal detecting finds was presented to the Sutton In Ashfield Heritage Society on behalf of the Ashfield Metal detecting Club by John Radford and John Gough.

The talk described the formation and activities of the Ashfield Club and a demonstration of different types of metal detectors. How metal detectors worked was explained in a very non technical and limited way.

The display was made up of the following individual boards:-

(1) The main board with the club name and logo, details of a free recovery system, examples of the depth that objects can be recovered from with a metal detector, a copy of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Detectorists and an expression of gratitude to farmers and landowners for their permission to search.

(2 and 3) Two boards with the front covers of Treasure Hunting and Searcher magazines on them.

(4) Commemorative medallions, lead toys, toy cannons.

(5) Armorial horse pendants, horse furniture and harness buckles.

(6) Military badges, military buttons and sword/dagger chapes.

(7) Buckles.

(8) Lead tokens including what is thought to be the earliest dated one 1550.

(9) Spindle whorls, love tokens, Roman brooches, jettons, gaming counters, pipe tamper and pilgrim ampulla.

(10) Pre decimal coin school presentation case, barrel lock and keys, badges, mysterious lead face and reproduction hammered coinage.

A further display was set out on a free standing table this included hammered coins, Roman coins, Nottinghamshire Miners’ Association membership badges and other artefacts.

The talk and display was well received and our club would like to thank Mrs., Jane Peters, secretary of the society, for arranging the event. Older members of our club will remember her husband the late Captain Roy Peters. He was a well known local historian and a good friend to metal detectorists. His talks at our club were always eagerly anticipated



For this newsletter I would like to describe, a hardback book I bought it for 50 pence from a bargain bookshop remainder sale in the 1980s. It is now £1.75 plus postage online. THE MAGPIE’S COMPANION(A Guide to things found) by Steven Banks. This is a fascinating book, covering many of the small finds made in charity shops, car boot sales, flea markets and by metal detectorists. It describes things like amulets, axes, beads, bells, bronze age artefacts, china, coinage, dominoes, escutcheons, flints, fossils, gold rings, locks, medals, needles, pewter, pot lids, pottery, spurs, thimbles, tokens, weapons and wine bottles to name just a fraction of its contents. The text is accompanied by more than 450 line drawings based on finds in local museums.

I find it an extremely useful book but it is a shame that I can not approve of the author, to quote from page 16 of the book “ …. let me mention the metal detector, illegitimate offspring of the soldier’s mine detector. The use of this bastard device should be illegal except for special licence, for it can be damaging to buried structures and other non-metallic things in the ground when something metal is retrieved by it.” This book was published in 1978, I wonder how it harmed the image of metal detecting by a public that, at that time, was being subjected to vicious anti metal detecting propaganda.

On page 15 Mr., Banks, writing about the morals of keeping small finds not made on archaeological sites, goes on to say, “One of my favourite finds is a chip of bluestone taken one day in 1953 from the earth at Stonehenge under the place where Stone 58 had long lain before being lifted upright again, a few minutes before, by a giant crane. The archaeologist in charge of the restoration was standing nearby, and I asked his permission before picking up the chip. On cleaning it at home, I was delighted to find that a flat and weathered surface on one side only, evidence that the chip had come from a stone which had been part of some monument. It is known that there is a layer under Stonehenge with plenty of bluestone fragments in it, so the removal of one of them was of no significance.” This is codswallop! By his own admission this was not a fragment of hard core or ballast but had, by the flat and weathered surface on one side only, been at one time part of a monument. If for him to take the chip was “of no significance” what would happen if everyone who visited Stonehenge took a chip of the old block? Soon there would be no old blocks to chip.

Time Team Does Codnor Castle

David Hallam

I returned from holiday to be phoned by Rachel Atherton, one of the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Finds Liaison Officers, asking why I hadn’t returned her call and was I interested? After explaining I had been away for a week and I didn’t get the message as I thought it was one of those messages you get when visiting foreign parts from the local mobile phone service provider which then charges you a ridiculous amount for someone to say hello and welcome you to their country so I didn’t bother to listen to the messages. Then she explained that Time Team was doing a 3 day dig at Codnor Castle and did I want to detect there?

What a question? 

Do I want to join Time Team and detect on a scheduled monument?  That silly question then became positively absurd when Rachel mentioned they would provide drinks throughout the day and feed me plus they would pay me a day rate and travelling expenses too. Overnight I would become “professional” well you can imagine how long I needed to think about it. Jonathon Smith another detectorist, who regularly contributes to The Portable Antiquities Scheme by submitting items to be identified and recorded, would be there too. We spoke on the Monday and arranged to meet before joining the Time Team crew.

The first sight to greet me on the Tuesday morning was Tony Robinson emerging from his Land Rover in his underpants a sight not for the faint hearted! Apparently he had been to an award ceremony in London the night before and driven up here in the night and slept in the back of his Land Rover in his sleeping bag so he would be ready for the start of the Time Team shoot.  Now there’s dedication for you.

Jonathon was equally enthusiastic and excited about meeting the legends of Time Team and it was an eye opener.  The background people know how to work their schedules and get everyone moving to their allotted area and starting the task of creating a Television programme that involves moving an awful amount of dirt.  Tons of it! Big Ian and little Ian are the two digger operators and the skill those guys have in ripping soil out of the ground is amazing.  I was teamed with Big Ian (called Big after the size of his digger) All I had to do was scan the soil when he tipped it and the recover any item from the soil before the next bucket load was tipped.  Easy I thought until I saw the amount of soil the bucket held and the speed they worked at.  Plus the spoil heap soon resembled a 6ft mound and required the agility of your average mountain goat to get on the mound dodge the arm and bucket, detect and recover the items from the soil. I’ve heard of speed dating but never speed detecting unless you include nighthawking! 

We were assigned our areas to detect in and I was given the upper courtyard where several promising areas were shown on the ground survey but also signs were shown of mining disturbance Jon was given the lower courtyard where a moat was shown along with an earlier castle and a drawbridge so you can imagine how happy I was at getting the worst area to detect in.

Day 1

Nothing of interest was found by either Jon or myself and we began to suffer from a bit of friendly banter from our archaeologist colleges as they were digging and finding their ruins hidden in the ground, all we could show was bits of window lead, more bits of lead and even lumps of lead

Day 2

It was a relief to find a musket ball which one of the camera men wanted to photograph.  I think a bit of desperation was creeping in for something “interesting” to show as very little pottery was being found as well.  As they couldn’t date the musket ball it was deemed not worthy of being shown on TV, much to my relief as I didn’t want to be on telly showing a musket ball. Then I found a Nuremberg Jetton and felt a little happier.  Jon had found nothing and got very excited saying “right the gauntlet has been thrown down I’ll find gold tomorrow”  “Right. OK”. I said little knowing what was going to happen the next day

Day 3

Big Ian was summoned to use his machine on the moat and after tidying up the excavations he departed to clear the moat and Little Ian joined us.  About 1 hour later I heard from an archaeologist about a huge gold coin being found in the moat.  Wind up I thought until another one told me the same story so I made my excuses and went down to the lower courtyard to find out what was going off. It was like a rugby scrum, flashes were going off as the media snapped away at Jon whose face was one huge grin his hand was shaking and his voice was wobbly as he spoke to the assembled throng.  He had found it at a time a press tour was being conducted around the site and he had more photos taken of him than I think was taken of Paris Hilton.  When I got to see the coin I knew why he was so excited, as it was in fabulous condition better than EF.  It must have been lost into the moat very soon after it was minted

A Henry VI Noble was the verdict once scans had been emailed to the experts but without a proper look it is almost impossible to tell the difference between Nobles of Henry IV, V or VI so I wait to see what the official verdict is.  All I know is it is a fantastic coin the first found on Time Team.  The excitement was electric and very soon stories were circulating saying it was a unique coin worth over £300,000 and I was being a spoil sport when I told them it was more like 10% of this figure.

Both Jonathon and Emily were delighted and I was so happy I went off had a cup of tea and then went back to my mound of soil which was now about 7ft high and started swinging hoping for GOLD too.  However all I could manage apart from the usual bits of lead was a silver hammered penny of Alexander III of Scotland. Phil Harding was in charge of our trench and I tried to explain, with the five point mullets on the coin it was probably Scottish but he couldn’t grasp the concept of a Scotsman loosing anything!!

Rachel Atherton identified the coin for us and before you knew it she was wired up by the sound crew and was explaining in front of the cameras to Tony Robinson about my coin and how it was likely to have arrived in England.  I said I could have done that and they explained that Rachel was more photogenic than I and I couldn’t argue that point.

Another positive aspect that came out of this dig is the realisation of what a positive and valuable contribution Metal Detectorists can make to an Archaeological dig.  It is something that I am glad to have been part of and I can say what a pleasure it was to work with the acclaimed experts who make the Time Team series such a success.

Fantastic Gold Nobel Find

Jonathan Smith’s metal detector find
at the Time Team dig at Codnor Castle
stole the show.

The coin, waiting positive identification
is definitely one of the ‘Henrys’ IV, V or VI.

The coin was worth six shillings and eight pence.

The upper courtyard Rachel Atherton, Jonathon Smith, Matt Williams, Stewart Ainsworth and production members on the newly laid access surface Matt Williams, Raksha, Dave, Big Ian and Stewart Ainsworth waiting to get digging in the upper courtyard
Big Ian, Barbara Meek, production staff, local excavators and experts in the upper courtyard Camera lights and action Searching for the lower courtyard moat
Phil Harding and executive producer Philip Clarke in lower courtyard Tony laughs after being found whilst playing hide and seek Rachel Spots Phil Harding
Jonathon Smith with the coin and Emily Woodburn Time Team Production Coordinator Tony Robinson, the presenter of Time Team, looking very pleased with himself. It makes a change from bones and broken pottery

Great Seal Of The King Of England

William The Conqueror. 1066-1087.

All the seals in this series are taken from a large, thick, old book that has nearly dropped to pieces. The book is a history of the English monarchs up to, but not including, Queen Elizabeth 1. I do not know the title or how old the book is but it could date to Elizabeth’s reign. The book came from a house clearance in the late 1950’s.

Written by John Gough

[Home] [Up]

Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 2005 Ashfield Metal Dectecting Club
Last modified: 15-08-2010