As mentioned in a previous blog, this was going to be a shot in the dark as we hadn't a clue what the exact plan was for the day which is very unusual for us!
The landowner was busy and said he'd come to find us at 10am so we decided to go straight to the target field as we estimated we'd cover the search area by 10am.
We arrived at the field adjacent to the one we looked at on December 28th 2017. This was drilled with wheat and quite short which made it very easy for us to negotiate the 9" standard and 9" HF coils.
The weather was superb with clear blue skies and a very slight breath of wind.
As we searched, a 4-wheel drive gamekeeper style buggy passed us along the lane we were parked on. Sure enough, he came back the other way with food for his sheep on the rear of the buggy. I watched in readiness to gesticulate greetings but he didn't even give us a glance and was probably more interested in his small food load.
A piece of C13th pottery was recovered along with Medieval chafing dish bracket. There were a few bits of lead with lots of ferrous signals but not much else emerged.
We'd completed the small area, as planned during the research stage, so we decided to go and see the landowner to clarify which of the 1300-acres were his.
He came out of the lovely Georgian styled farmhouse with his son who we'd met on the 28th to greet us.
On the wall was a plaque that read: "Take notice that as from today's date poachers will be shot on first sight and if practicable questioned afterwards".
He asked how we'd got on, so we told him of what we'd found and in which field. Would you believe it, he said that's not mine, it's a neighbours! I apologised and he said don't worry, they're all friends of mine around here.
I told him about the chap driving the 4-wheel drive buggy and he said "Yes, that was the landowner". I think he'd already had a word with all his neighbours to watch out for two suspicious guys!
We showed him the maps that we'd printed and he consequently started marking off all the fields that belonged to him. As with some of our other landowners, his land is fragmented and covers a wide area.
He very kindly noted which were his neighbours and even wrote down a mobile number of one of them!
He said that he'd put a good word in for us if we wished with any of his neighbours. We found out that he has contracts on a further 1,900-acres, we're going to need bigger maps!
He did add that he has a couple of guys that come every year but haven't found much.
We bid farewell and then, after all that, we decided to call in at another permission and wish them Happy New Year!
On the way we passed a field that we suspect that there may be a small villa as we'd recovered a small amount of tesserae, coinage and fibulae last year.
The landowners were very surprised and pleased to see us and invited us in to their farmhouse kitchen.
He said that it was only yesterday that he'd said to his wife "We've not seen our boys for a while!".
We had a good catch-up and asked about the "villa" field to which he said it was ploughed and ready for rolling and drilling.
We asked if it was okay to have a look at a field we'd not been to since April 2016. We could see that they were about to have guests for lunch so we parted company and wished them well.
We'd only got part-way up the track and the Navara slipped to one side resulting in the situation getting worse. We tried all sorts to free the vehicle but it wasn't for climbing out of the holes it was digging for itself!
I text the landowner asking if he could call us after lunch as we were stuck!
This was done as a last resort as we couldn't see any other way of getting out of this one.
He rang 5 minutes later and asked where abouts were we stuck and if we had a rope?
He turned up in his Discovery but we could see that even that was going to struggle too. Sure enough, it did struggle and with that he said that it requires one of his tractors to pull us out of the soot! (I say soot, but that's another story).
Ten minutes later he turned up with a Claas 620 Arion tractor and heavy duty webbing.
Once hooked up to the tractor, it towed the Navara backwards (and sideways) for about 150 feet to the corner of the field which then meant a tricky manoeuvre to get around the corner and onto the "home straight".
Taking no chances, he towed us all the way to the main track and set us free to carry on with plan "B".
We eventually reached the field on-foot and found it to be drilled with wheat.
Within a couple of minutes, a piece of Samian Ware was recovered from the surface as we made our way to the top of the field.
After a small debate we decided to start detecting and after only two minutes a denarius of Caracalla was recovered.
Some Roman grey ware and a couple of other Roman coins were collected as well as a C17th sword hanger mount, a love-heart, a lead scribe, a lead pot mend and a lead stag.
The sun was now very low on the horizon which meant that we had only a short time to complete the days activities. The light was so dim that a barn owl started hunting around us!
With that, we gave up and elected to go for a chippy tea.
As mentioned, 9" coils, standard GMP mode, tracking on the HF and manual tracking on the 9" standard coil.
High Def images of the days finds can be seen here.