Celebrating the Unearthed Past: A Metal Detecting Odyssey of Self-Exploration and Historical Revelations

  1. Tell us about yourself?


I was born and raised in the historic market town of Hitchin, Hertfordshire, here in the UK and at the age of 47 I fell in love with metal detecting. I’m lucky that this little town is steeped in history and metal detecting has taken me back as far as the Iron-Age with some of my finds. This hobby has taken me on an incredible journey through history, but more than that it has reconnected me with myself. It’s brought me new experiences, put me in contact with new friends and old friends, taken me to different parts of the country, it’s brought out the writer in me and given me a renewed sense of purpose and fulfilment.




  1. What interested/attracted you to buy your first metal detector?


I got into metal detecting about 4 years ago after watching the BBC tv series detectorists with my partner Heather. It was a brilliantly written and well acted comedy about two detectorists and their relationship with metal detecting. It seemed to strike a cord with both me and Heather, and it prompted her to buy me my first detector for my birthday which was a Minelab Equinox 600. Since then I’ve never looked back and this amazing hobby continues to inspire and surprise me on so many levels.




  1. When did you use your Coiltek coil fist & how did you find this experience?


I first used my 15inch Coiltek coil on a detecting survey that I was doing on behalf of North Hertfordshire Museums. It was on the site of a scheduled Roman bath house and I already knew that it had been detected many times before (this was before the site had obtained scheduled status), so I wasn’t that hopeful of finding much. But on that day I found what I still consider to be my best find, a Roman/Celtic loop and toggle fastener. It turned out to be quite a rare and complete example and it was listed as a ‘find of note’ by the Portable Antiquities Scheme which is part of the British Museum. A couple of weeks later I did another survey for the same museum which turned up a beautifully detailed Dupondius of Trajan (a Roman coin) which again was found with the Coiltek 15” coil. Since then that coil has been a piece of my metal detecting armoury that I wouldn’t be without.




  1. How has metal detecting benefitted your lifestyle?


Metal detecting has benefitted my life immeasurably and to say I’m obsessed with the hobby would be an understatement. Since I started metal detecting I have noticed a real impact on my physical and mental well being which has filtered through into my everyday life. The hobby has also turned me into a bit of a blogger and I now post on my own website as well as instagram. This has now evolved into me writing regular articles for Treasure Hunting Magazine here in the UK which I absolutely love doing. I’m currently writing an article about the retired archaeologist Gil Burleigh who has been working with responsible detectorists since 1976. It was great to sit and chat with him about his career and the amazing discoveries he has been involved with including the Dea Senuna Temple Treasure Hoard, a nationally significant find that was found by a detectorist. The hobby has also brought me into contact with some amazing and inspiring people, like Gil, who I would never have met otherwise. I now have access to a network of people in the metal detecting community who are always willing to give help and advice when needed which is brilliant. So as you can see this wonderful hobby has impacted my life in so many ways and definitely for the better.




  1. What advice would you give to someone wanting to start metal detecting?


Just get out there and do it! You don’t have to spend huge amounts of money to get a decent detector these days and if you struggle to get your own permissions there will usually be local clubs that put on group digs that you can attend. There are plenty of YouTube videos you can watch to learn about the hobby as well as detecting groups on social media that are usually very welcoming to new detectorists. It’s one of those hobbies that brings a real sense of connection to the surroundings that you’re in and if you’re lucky it will connect you with some brilliant history too. For me there has been no better feeling than unearthing a Roman coin and then realising you might be the first person to hold that coin for nearly 2000 years. So as I said at the beginning, just get out there and do it!




  1. What has been your most significant experience or find to date?


I think my most significant experience to date is finding load of Roman coins at the beginning of the year. They were found on a permission I had been searching on for about 8 months, and so far between 40-50 coins have all come out of a small area of one field. The coins were mostly 3rd-4th century but there were a couple of copper alloy Celtic units in the mix which was great. There was also a lot of iron nails coming up with these coins so I ended up investing in the Coiltek 10×5 coil to combat this and it worked a treat! It was such a great feeling to find all that history.




  1. Who or what inspired you to start detecting?


As I said before it was definitely the tv series detectorists that got me into metal detecting, but I could never have imagined the impact that watching that series would have on my life. The people, the experiences, the history, the research and the fact that this hobby found the writer in me has definitely been life changing. So if you’re thinking about taking up the hobby but not sure about it for any reason, then take a look at my blog and instagram for some inspiration. Also watch YouTube content posted by other detectorists and read their blogs and instagram feeds too, because seeing the impact the hobby has had on all of us will definitely inspire you to get out there and connect with history.




  1. Any social media handles/links you’d like to share?