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05.02.2021

Fillongley Hoard

It all began when Roy English and Robert Foster received permission to search a farm previously never discovered. Several months passed, and the two detection specialists searched the farmer's fields one by one as they became available, and found many coins and artifacts dating from Roman times to the present day.

In the beginning they had only one very large stubble field left, free of crops. Research showed nothing of interest, except that this field was once five fields with several paths running through it.

They searched the field a couple of times before they discovered a piece of short-cut penny and then another eight pennies. Since it was almost dark, they took the coins to the farmer and expressed the opinion that they might have stumbled upon a buried treasure.

The next day the farmer plowed the field, and in the evening Bob and Roy found ten more coins. They set aside a site the size of a tennis court and over the next week worked on a systematic search with White's machines. By the end of the week, the duo had found more than 50 coins and fragments with no evidence of pot. It was at this point that they informed the coroner and a local archaeologist of their find.

A few days later, the farmer informed them that the farm machinery manufacturer wanted to demonstrate new farm machinery and that the pantry field would be the perfect place for such a demonstration.

The farmer had plowed the field deeply, creating really deep furrows, up to 2.5 feet / 3 feet. They found the area again and found eight more coins and a beautiful ring-shaped brooch that appears to be made of gold. The next day a new machine was demonstrated, which was a disaster ... it was designed to separate stones from the soil in the potato field, but Bob and Roy discovered that all the coins found that day were just broken fragments. This proved to them how important it was for the detectors to salvage the coins and artifacts before new agricultural technology turned them into dust!

Since the farmer couldn't put off sowing the field any longer, he agreed to move the soil over the next three days to see if Bob and Roy could find more coins. They spent the next three days doing this, ending up with 127 complete or fragmentary coins. All were of the short-cut type. Most were minted during the reigns of King John (1199-1216) and Henry III (1216-1272). About eleven mints were represented, more than half (76) from London and the next largest group from Canterbury (11). Nine mints had a low total; Winchester (3), York (3), Oxford (2); and one from Chichester, Durham, Exeter, Ipswich, Lincoln and Norwich. Twenty-four coins came from unidentified or uncertain mints. There were also three cut halves. Other oddities included John's Irish penny, minted in Dublin, and two pounds of William I of Scotland, one of which was minted in Roxburgh. The last coin in the group dates from around 1200 AD.

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