Metal Detecting and Treasure Hunting – I’m a Physical History Hunter –

Metal Detecting – I’m a Physical History Hunter –


This is my favourite little toy car that I’ve found – Circa 1930’s.

Early in 2014 I found myself in a really dark depressed place after unfortunately, having a major breakdown. There were many triggers and reasons for this and I’d just been suppressing them all until they finally erupted into a volcanic collection of anxieties, self doubts and fear.

So the story continues, and I find myself sitting on my beloved safety net (the sofa) and settling down to this new programme on BBC4 called, ‘Detectorists’. It was amazing! I didn’t really know the first thing about this geeky, nerdy hobby and had only ever seen some old geezers walking across farmland, head down swinging a strange looking stick that resembled some kind of giant sink plunger.
And there I was, hooked, imagining the treasure that could be lost in the mud and wondering ‘I need to get me one of these things and head out Treasure Hunting’
So I did. I logged onto ‘everyone’s’ favourite place for bargains – EBay, and bought my first proper metal detector! Secondhand, well used but a total bargain at £200! I was so excited, I couldn’t wait for the postman to deliver my new Tesoro Cortes treasure wand and pin-pointer.


Tesoro Cortes

Garrett Pro-pointer Ii. Pin-pointing Metal Detector

Garrett Pinpointer

I continued to indulge myself in Detectorists and set about Google to find out more. There were certain laws and regulations that I needed to abide by, and, with my job I cannot risk any kind of legalities etc. I bought very own NCMD – National Council For Metal Detecting licence for £8 and actually left the house! I’d not been out for weeks and I was finally feeling like I had some motivation. How weird? something that was totally foreign to me had got me excited for the fist time in months, got me out of the house and knocking on local landowners doors. The second farm I visited granted me indefinite permission to go digging on his 100 acres of land, as long as I made sure to fill all holes after I’d dug and, bought him a bottle of single malt Whiskey now and then. ‘It’s a deal’ I said excitingly and trundled off home.
My new detector arrived a few days later and the rest they say, is history! literally, history.

My first finds from the back garden! Now I was really hooked!

Here’s some information about the show ‘Detectorists’ if you fancy checking it out. You can also find it on good old YouTube too.

Detectorists is an absolute gem of TV treasure. This program first aired back in 2014 much to the delight of Metal Detectorists far and wide. For a while it seemed like there was never going to be a show that brilliantly depicts our much loved, and very popular hobby.Both stars Mackenzie Crook and Toby Jones are very well known actors who have starred in some huge blockbusters – Pirates Of The Caribbean (Crook) and The Hunger Games (Jones) are usually busy on other more glamorous Hollywood projects. So, especially as it’s written and directed by Crook I’m overjoyed they’ve made time for another series. Enjoy it people, as sadly this is due to be the last.

Image result for detectorists

I try to get out digging and physical history hunting whenever I can. I’ve met loads of like minded and really passionate history hunters since starting this wonderful hobby, and also gained a huge bank of historical knowledge about the people that once graced these shores.

One of my first military finds was this Royal Marine Labour Corps badge.


I researched this for days, and had found myself in a rather unusual happier place? looking for clues of what it might be? I’m not really into wars and fighting being a pacifist but, I was really intrigued to what it could be…and Hey Presto! I found this info!

Here’s some really interesting finds from the past few years, and some are even recorded with the Portable Antiquity Scheme, which enables other historians and Archaeologists to research their own finds and pieces of history that was once ‘Lost In The Mud’.

DENO-C6E263: Post-medieval toy horn book

This was found 5 miles from my home in a farmers field that had been ploughed and worked for the past 400 years!
It has now been recorded on the national database.

Unique ID:** DENO-C6E263

An incomplete lead alloy tablet of the Post Medieval period, dating from c. AD 1500 – c. AD 1700.

It is is part of a miniature horn-book showing the English alphabet. About 75 % of the rectangular tablet is present, the lower left corner is broken off. Any frame or handle that may have been fitted is missing. The letters are raised and the alphabet is split over four lines reading; A b c d e f / g h I k L m/ [n o] P q r s / [v] WXY
The letter J is not included, suggesting that the horn-book predates the publication of Charles Butler’s English Grammar (1633) which first distinguished between I and J.
The letter Z is also missing (or not placed at the end.) As it is very uncommon in Latin, it was sometimes omitted from children’s alphabets.
The reverse is blank except for a series of incised parallel lines running vertically from top to bottom, dividing the rectangle into seven more or less equal columns.
The object measures 33 mm by 41.5 mm and is 2 mm thick. It weighs 16.2 g.

Next is this Queen Victoria silver coin collection pair – One shilling 1866 and sixpence
Please note – Never clean coins with anything other than warm water and an old toothbrush as this can completely devalue them.

Here’s a Sterling .925 silver bracelet that I found a while back. it was almost 10 inches deep in the middle of a field and came out looking like this after a gentle water bath.
I have not found out any info as of yet but I’m guessing 1920’s possibly earlier.

This coin is a large gun money half-crown (or thirty pence, hence XXX above the crown) which was issued by James II from about June 1689 until May 1690.** **This issue was superseded in April 1690 by a smaller coin of similar design which lasted until October 1690. The later coins were struck in Limerick as the Dublin mint was captured after the Battle of the Boyne in July 1690 and closed.


A small collection of finds from the 11th -18th century


Here’s another collection of finds from a few months ago.
This was 4 hours out walking and hunting with a group of fellow detectorists.



This was just a small selection from my large finds collection that I’ve ammased over the past 4 years.
I have so many finds that I could ramble on all day about them! I’ll be sure to post some more blogs about my world of detecting over the spring and summer months as the weather warms.

Thanks for reading, commenting, up-voting and sharing.
I hope you found some value in my post.



About the author: darrenclaxton

Darren Claxton is a Songwriter, Musician, Producer and now BBC Radio artist, from Derbyshire UK. The music he writes is often heartfelt acoustic indie folk with a sprinkling of rock and country influences, with an occasional world music flavour as heard on his track ‘Dragonfly’ . But most of all, it's his passive emotive thoughts and feelings that are delivered through that soothing vocal, and intricate guitar playing of his.