Sometimes fortune just seems to smile and come your way and that was the case recently when I found out that a site I had researched was on one of my customer’s property. It was an old Inn that operated in the mid 1800’s for about 4 years only but it soon became a popular main stop over point for bullock teams and coaches. I had to see him about something else so I went over and as you do, I asked if he would mind if I had a look around and told him the story, turns out he knew nothing about the Inn. So after being granted permission and having a good look around, I headed for home to check out some pictures and work out exactly where the buildings used to be. I couldn’t wait to get back there and fire up my E-TRAC to see if the research had put me onto the right spot.
After returning the next day, I had been detecting for about 5mins with not even a squeak from the E-TRAC I was starting to second guess myself but just then my detector came alive, it wasn’t a good target but it was something. A quick dig and out came a small piece of brass that resembled the insides of a harmonica, a good sign indeed because a lot of these old sites have these relics on them. Another few steps and the next target was a plate of copper, I could feel the tension building, surely it was only a matter of time before I heard the sound of a good solid target. I started to move across a noisy area with a lot of bits of iron around and then as the trash started to thin out a bit I had a signal that was somewhat faint but high and solid, it sounded like a deep coin or relic. Today I had brought the shovel with me and I was glad because there was about 50 – 100 mm of thick dense grass and roots matted together all over the place, I dug a deep wide hole and flipped it out but the target was still down deeper. I quickly located it with the pin pointer and carefully dug it out, a beautiful 1845 sixpence, but boy was it deep at about 250 – 300 mm. I looked around at some of the overgrowth and realised that there was no way that I was going to be able to detect this site properly until it had been cleared.
Time for a rethink so I moved over to a clear area on the side of the hill where the stables may have been, the grass was much shorter here so I started gridding up and down the hill. While on my first run about half way up I hit a solid 12:45 screaming at me but this also sounded quite deep, it was either a big coin or a harness buckle as I have found heaps of them and they fool me every time. I was actually enjoying using the shovel, finding it much easier than the Lesche, I could make the hole quite large reducing the chance of hitting the coin or relic. This was a really nice 1855 Victoria Young Head penny with some of the best detail I have seen on one that I had found, they are normally quite worn and smooth. I was starting to get a real buzz from knowing that the research was paying off and I had found an old forgotten Inn that once would have been a bustling popular place to stop and take a break from your travels. I went up the slope a bit more then turned to come back and as I went past where the penny was found I heard another signal, it was a bit fainter but solid and sounded a bit like a deep silver. It was another Victoria Young Head penny no more than 300 mm from the first one and in equally as good a condition, this one was an 1853. Possibly my first 1800’s pocket spill, was he dismounting, sitting down or did he fall over drunk, these are the answers we can never know but we can try and imagine and to me that is part of the fun of metal detecting.
Well it was pretty hard going and I was kind off starting to get the jitters with every stick that i stepped on under the grass, may have something to do with what the owner said the day before “sure knock yourself out but be careful there are some bloody big black snakes down there”. As I scouted the edge one more time just below where the two pennies were, a solid 12:46 told me that maybe just maybe one final coin before heading off, sure enough after another deep recovery a pretty good 1806 George III penny with the best detail I have seen on one of these that I have found.
It was great to finish on an early dated coin because it let my imagination run wild with what could be underneath all the thick grass and blackberry bushes, so I don’t know how long it will be before I return but I can guarantee you, I will return. Happy hunting all, keep the coil to the soil and always stay positive.