Sometimes finding a positive identification for the amorphous bits of metal and ‘partefacts’ found by detectorists can lead us up many garden paths before we arrive at a satisfactory conclusion.

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This, and a further blog post to follow, is about those mementoes that can be considered a record of a pilgrim’s progress and are often found by UK detectorists – the Pilgrim Badge. In the Middle Ages the Church encouraged people to make pilgrimages to special holy places called shrines.

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When I started the blog in 2011 this was one of my first posts, subsequently lost. The original was composed in 2007 by Rod Blunt of the UKDFD. In 10 years little has changed … time for a reprise, I think! Continue Reading…

As forecast, I wasn’t inundated with entries, but both of the three submissions (sic) were very good and the final choice of winner wasn’t easy. I have chosen JOHN RADFORD’S effort as the winner of John Brassey’s Book. Congratulations to him and also thanks to the others for their competition entries – and to John B, of course, for donating a copy of his super second novel.

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A regular subscriber to my Searcher Medley column is detectorist Bob Burton of Birmingham. He recently sent me another interesting item found in the Midlands, which is relevant to the social history of the area.

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The hornbook has been available since the 15th century or earlier, and was perhaps the original teaching aid lasting over 400 years, designed to introduce young children to reading. But it wasn’t really a book at all!

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