Welcome to Our Past History

According to Wikipedia a geek is an individual who is fascinated, perhaps obsessively, by obscure or very specific areas of knowledge and imagination, usually electronic or virtual in nature.

I must then be that geek!

I am fascinated, perhaps obsessively by sometimes obsure, but also specific areas of knowledge and imagination - the only difference is that my obsession is to do with the subjects of History, Archaeology and Metal Detecting.

This website contains a comprehensive guide to responsible Metal Detecting in England and Wales as well as some history and archaeology from England, Scotland and Wales.

The Image gallery contains over 20,000 images taken in the UK and abroad of locations, places of interest and artefacts.  

If you are a fellow geek I hope you enjoy my website.

This web site is archived by the UK Web Archiving Consortium, consisting of the British Library, The National Library of Wales, Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru, JISC, The National Archive, The National Library of Scotland and  The Wellcome Trust at:
antonine wall slab

Metal Detecting

I’ve only been detecting for a couple of years or so, but before that, when I was looking into the pro’s and con’s of taking up this hobby, I found it very hard to find any comprehensive information online on detecting in the UK – especially for beginners like me!

I had joined various detecting forums but the advice given to beginners was diverse and confusing. There are also lots of enthusiast’s websites, but mainly from the USA and these were not really relevant to the detecting situation in this country. I also spent a bit of time going to various detecting rallies to really see if this was really what I wanted to do and what type of people these detectorists really were.

It was at two of these rallies that I bumped into staff of the Portable Antiquities Scheme – who were there recording finds made on the day. I decided to build a website for people like myself who wanted to detect, but wanted to have the knowledge to be able to do it in a responsible way by recording finds with the Portable Antiquities Scheme, detecting in a way that did not cause any damage to underlying archaeology below the plough soil and recording an accurate findspot using GPS.

Once I had taken the plunge and bought a detector, I joined a local detecting club in Colchester which gave me access to various “club sites” to detect on and also membership of the National Council for Metal Detecting which provided me with insurance cover.

On one of these "club sites" I bumped into a gentle giant of a man detecting alone by the name of Terry who was a massive help to me as a beginner. From then onwards Terry and I have detected together most Sundays – normally on one farm in Essex where we have thoroughly enjoyed discovering more about the history of the area and sharing this information with the landowner – and the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

The majority of our finds are returned to the landowner after recording, as he is very interested in the history of his land.

We both record all of our finds with the Portable Antiquities Scheme – even the grotty bits – as they all help us to understand and build a picture of the history of the area we detect in. This includes finds made by eye only too – such as pieces of worked flint, pottery etc.