Earlier in June this year I was on one of my favourite permissions that is centred around the site of a medieval moated manor house. There is nothing left now apart from the moat itself. The site of the house is just a large paddock surrounded by the moat.

On this permission I have found multiple hammered silver coins and artifacts of a similar age. The site of the manor house is littered with tiny pieces of rusty iron and coke, it is a nightmare to detect on. On this particular day I had no other choice, the other fields had either crops or cattle on so I thought that I may as well give the manor house paddock another go.

I was detecting in the area that I think was the doorway into the house. The house was here from about 1100 until 1650. I was getting the usual iron nail sounds, but then found a better signal, after digging in the quite compacted soil I found a George III farthing with both sides just about recognisable. This was so far my best find from this paddock area.

Then just half a metre to one side was another good signal. I started to dig, and little more than an inch underground I found this buckle, complete with its pin.

Sorry, but this photo is a bit blurred. I took the buckle home and very carefully cleaned it. It cleaned up beautifully and is my best buckle found whilst metal detecting yet.

At home I made the decision to clean it very carefully. I was only going to dry brush it and not use any water at all. I used a soft toothbrush to remove any remaining soil, then just used my fingers to gently rub and buff it to bring out the detail without harming it in any way. It took some time but my efforts were rewarded by the end result.

The buckle has since been dated to the mid to late 1600’s and it is my favourite buckle that I have found so far, but who knows what the next signal will be!

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