Julian Meeson – 27 April 2015
The area investigated by the Newport History Society lies to the east of Lindore Wood. It is comprised of three fields (only two of which could be surveyed, due to the third being waterlogged), which at the time of the investigation had been ploughed and re-seeded with grass seed, to return the fields to pasture. The top soil was still clearly visible at the time, which made it possible to field-walk the site, as well as undertaking a metal detecting survey. The site is situated on high ground, close to a known Roman road, so it was hoped Roman pottery and metalwork would be recovered.
Field 1 (searched on the 25th January 2015) produced a varied collection of finds, from the Roman period right through to the present day. The very first artefact recovered from the field, was in fact a Roman trumpet brooch, dating from the late 1st century. The brooch has lost its spring and retaining plate, although traces of coloured enamel decoration has survived, which is rare. Unfortunately, the brooch was the only confirmed Roman artefact found in Field 1. A large lead steelyard weight was also found in field 1 and may yet prove to be Roman or possibly Medieval in date. However, lead weights are notoriously difficult to date, so it will need to be examined by Peter Reavill, our local ‘Finds Liaison Officer’ (Portable Antiquities Scheme) to obtain a more accurate date. No Roman pottery was found in field 1, in fact the only form of pottery recovered was the various forms of the locally made Staffordshire Slip ware, dating from the late17th/early 18th centuries. The oldest coin recovered from Field 1 was a silver penny from the reign of Edward I (1272-1307AD). It appears to have been minted in London at the Tower mint. Medieval coins from this period are also difficult to date, so this will also be given to Peter Reavill for recording and accurately dating. A small number of lead tokens and worn 18th century copper coins (half pennies) were also found. The lead tokens are of a similar date to the pottery, late 17th/18th century. Two other finds of note were a horse brass, baring the image of a swan and a small Victorian coin hoard. The horse brass and has survived well in the soil and looks to be late19th/early 20th century in date. The coin hoard, comprised of five coins, four pennies and a silver sixpence and was found near the hedgerow separating Field 1 and Field 3. The coins all bare Queen Victoria’s ‘young’ or ‘bun hair’ portrait, which suggests the coins were lost in the 1870s. It is unlikely the coins were buried, rather lost.
(searched on the 1st February 2015) also produced an interesting array of finds. The oldest artefact being a Mesolithic flint blade. The blade is approximately 70mm in length and its edges are still sharp! It dates from 4500 to 3500BC and is a particularly well preserved example.
The pottery recovered from Field 2 was found to be similar to that found in Field 1 and from the same time period. Only a small amount of pottery was recovered from either field, which suggests that the fields were worked rather than lived on. This theory is supported by the lack of demolition debris often associated in fields where farm labourers cottages are known to have existed. ! The metal detecting finds were also found to be similar to those recovered from Field 1, with further 18th and 19th century coins being recovered, most of which were found to be in poor state of preservation. A small number of 18th century shoe buckles were also recovered, along with a number of buttons. Two livery buttons, baring the crests of the Boughy family and two early British Rail buttons (pre-1963) being the most interesting . Two thimbles were also found dating from the 19th century. Thimbles were carried by most farm workers to repair clothing and sew sacks etc…! Perhaps the most interesting artefact found in Field 1 was a medal.
The medal bares the inscription ‘Pembroke Education Committee for Perfect Attendance’ and is dated 1908. Sadly, there is no inscription on the shield on the reverse of the medal, so it is unlikely the person to whom the medal was awarded will ever be known.