My Fruitful Fields

I have been taking Treasure Hunting for the past 20 years and look forward to my copy every month. In the last couple of years I have had some cracking finds, the best coin probably being a Durotriges silver stater which is dated 1st century BC. I am almost sure that it is the only silver stater that has been found in Glamorgan where I live.

My next brilliant find was a Roman hoard of 34 coins which were all copper dating from AD 28-29. They involved two emperors, Carausius and Allectus and apparently the latter emperor murdered the former one. I had found over several years about seven similarly dated coins from the same field but over quite a wide area.

It was quite exciting on the day that I found the Roman hoard. I found one coin, wandered about for about 30 minutes and arrived back to where had I had found the original one. I then had another ‘bleep~ and dug out another coin, then the bleeps kept coming and within 10 minutes I had 20 coins in total. Two were even stuck together.

I had to leave the area as I was going to watch a rugby international in Cardiff but returned the next day to the same spot where I found 14 more coins plus a round ring object that probably had a bag with the coins inside, as there was no trace of a pot, Steve Sell, Mark Lodvic and Edward Besley from the National Museum in Cardiff came at a later date to inspect the site and had a small dig, hut no more coins were found. The hoard is now at the Museum wailing for a Treasure Inquest.

On the field where I found the silver stater, I also found a Roman silver Republic coin of Farat in poor condition which has been dated by the museum at c.60 BC. Also on the field I found eight hammered coins and nice silver posy ring inscribed ‘I like my choise’ which is now waiting for a Treasure Inquest.

On my own farm, on one field where I have detected on for 23 years I found a small Bronze Age hoard. A year ago I found an axe one evening with a small piece missing from it. The following evening I found the missing piece! The next night I found another broken axe but have never found the other part. This autumn we ploughed the field and cultivated deeply and found another brilliant find in the same area – it was a beautiful decorated Bronze Age socketed spearhead in very good condition. The museum now has the axes and the spearhead, provisionally dated to early to mid-Bronze Age. They are both going forward to Treasure Trove.

I would have loved to keep the spearhead as I’m sure it would have belonged to the chief of the tribe who was living on our farm. Somebody was here 3,500 to 3800 years ago, farming the same sod as myself and hunting the same pastures and wood and this same field has yielded many more finds – a 13th century religious copper seal, a Roman bucket mount and about a dozen hammered coins. I also found a medieval buckle, which is about the best I've seen for a long time. I mostly detect in the evenings because I’m still working on the farm.

What a wonderful relaxing hobby we all have. We all I think, have lean times but hang in there and hopefully a cracking find or two will materialise.

Gwyn Rees,