Tag Archives: shoddy

Three More Digs

20 Feb

I.4 (18 February 2015)

Back on my first P to search some upland, and I quickly discovered a threepenny bit from 1944. Pressing on I found a 1945 farthing and then an older coin whose legend had been rendered illegible. The best find of the day was what I thought to be a medieval spoon (but what may well be an escutcheon cover for a lock from that period):

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Iron Age coin?

Iron Age coin?

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Kat’s version of my ‘spoon’ find (with associated coin to show relative size):


III.1 (20 February 2015)

I arranged for a fifth permission yesterday, and as it happens, the landowner is himself interested in detecting. We arranged a short hunt together today on a part of his farm where five different historic tracks converge. It was impossible to go one foot in any direction without finding a target, and so many of these targets were modernish buttons, that I soon nicknamed the area ‘Button Alley’. Not long afterward, I began to think that someone had salted the earth with buttons to prevent detecting. (As it turns out, the landowner’s father explained that the fields had once been strewn with ‘shoddy’ to enrich them; shoddy is bits of rag and wool, and many of these would have had buttons attached). The landowner did manage to find a modern pound coin, and I turned up a lovely George V (1918) penny, in excellent condition.


Many of the larger brass buttons were lovely Air Force buttons featuring a bird and crown.


Button Alley

Button Alley

Dig I.5

After the morning hunt on the new P(III), I spent a short section of the afternoon on P(I) with the farmer’s son, who was keen to try detecting. We only searched for just under an hour, but I turned up a grotty, illegible Roman, and then he turned up a lovely Roman with the bust on the obverse perfectly visible. He was thrilled; imagine finding Roman on your first day out! I’m certain he’s hooked for good on the hobby now. It was a fine afternoon, and the farmer even surprised me with a jar of homemade honey.

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My grotty Roman

My grotty Roman