Metal detecting holidays in England
with the Worlds most successful metal detecting club
Twinned with Midwest Historical Research Society USA
Testimonial Page- What the guys thought of their trip and their features in detecting magazines
Updated July 2018
I have been a member of the Colchester Treasure Hunting Club for several years and have been on 11 trips so far. This is the best foreign metal detecting adventure available to you. Unlike most of the world, the laws in England are fair and make it possible for you to bring home some truly unique and fabulous finds. The club has exclusive rights to detect hundreds of fields and more are constantly being added. Almost every field in this area of England has had human activity from the bronze age, Celts, Romans, Saxons, maybe Vikings, and middle ages people right up until today.
Bruce BrothersJune 2018
My husband Dennis & I have made 14 trips to England to metal detect with Colchester Treasure Hunting and know you won't find a better run metal detecting tour in all of England.These trips are extremely exciting and addictive. I mean just look at the website! Everything is on there from the places we stay to the thousands of acres we hunt. All notable finds that have been made by all of the club members through the years are shown on this website. Photos, news, history of the area and anything you need to know about joining this group is included as well.
Christy June 2018
If you are interested in a detecting adventure of a lifetime try England. I've been a dozen times and it is always a blast with incredible finds. I've booked most of my trips with Lucky Mindy who is one of the barn leaders. She's Knowledgeable about the fields and actually helps in securing new fields. Our teams usually consist of 7 hunters and we all have a tremendous time with a lot of good finds and a lot of good laughs. I have made some of my best friends while over there and those friendships have carried back over here in the States.Mindy is a tremendous cook which is icing on the cake. If you want to see some of my many England finds go to my website and click on "England Finds". Check them out at FloridaRob.com.
From Oregon Mary and Clarence:
Mindy is a terrific cook with hot breakfast and comfort food dinner on the table every day. We each make our own sandwiches for lunch so you can have what you like. She doesn’t skimp on the food so you are fueled and ready for the next day of detecting. She does all the cooking, shopping and driving.
We usually hunt ten hour days but if you are on a field you’re not ready to leave, depending on how far away it is, she will come back and pick you up later. Not up to those long days? No problem. The van is at the field if you need a snack break, nap, or to get out of the weather. Mindy wants to give you every opportunity to find something special. There is a lot of good natured ribbing, tall tales and excitement when any one makes a great find. After joining Mindy for a detecting holiday, you will be counting the days for your return adventure.
From California Jim:
Cal Jim --Colchester member since 2007 and frequent member of Mindy’s barn hunts
The excitement begins when I book this trip, when I commit to returning to my favorite metal detecting place on earth. Every morning I wake up with a sense of joy that I know that no matter what each day throws at me, I can get through it, as soon I will be in the fields of Colchester metal detecting. It does seem like a long time between booking, to actually departing for the trip. And I make lots of check-lists of all the items I will need, and make sure my gear is all top order, and try and get myself in a little better shape physically. The anticipation is wonderfully fantastic. And then all of sudden, it's time for the trip. That came quickly, I hope I didn't forget anything.
The other testimonials you will read, will do a wonderful job covering the 'nuts and bolts' of the trip. I'd like to address this club. I have been metal detecting with my family since I was a little boy. This Colchester Club, Family, is unlike any hunting I have ever done before. It is a true Club in every sense of the word. When you arrive at the meeting spot the first morning, you are greeted by a group of strangers (or returning friends) with whom you are instantly connected as you share an agonizingly long (yet relatively short ride) from London to Colchester. Some of these people may just become lifelong friends.
In the Club, everything we do is about helping each other become better detectorists. From detector settings, to gear we use, to recovery techniques and speed, we want everyone to have a great hunt. And as a returning member, I know that the best thing I can continue to do is listen to others and continue to learn. The attitude should always be upbeat, and we are genuinely happy for each others success and great finds. The more positive the attitude, the more we work as a team to hotspot fields, the better experience we have, and the usually, the better finds we make.
The Colchester metal detecting experience is my absolute favorite vacation destination. The hours are long, but there has never been a morning I haven't leaped out of bed. Sometimes it feels like the great finds aren't forthcoming, but every experienced detectorist knows that the difference between a mediocre day on finds and an epic day, is just one swing of the coil; just one dug hole can make a whole trip. But the truth is, I do just love being out in the fields on a misty morning with the sun trying to break through the clouds, thinking about the history of where I am, and the people who lived there. Great finds are just the icing on the cake. The real treasure is the experience and the friends made.
From Cal Gail:
I have been on many detecting trips with Mindy. What I like most is that she lets you do you own thing. If you are tired or just feeling up to it, you can just hang out. I also like that the van is always available for inclement weather or whatever. Plus she cooks a great breakfast and dinner!
Jimmy and Robann Koenig - March 2018
June 2011 Wendell's Saxon gold hoard story - click on thumb nails for larger image
June 2011 Dennis and Christy's monster hunt - click on thumb nails for larger image
Mass Bill's 4thC Roman gold ring find featured in the Western and Eastern Magazine
Canadian Marjo's Detecting Club newsletter called the "Buzzer" for January 2005
Check out the following magazines that have articles featured on these hunts.
March Issue Route 66
May/June 2004 Gold Prospectors - Ohio Bud's trip
June 2004 in the Eastern and Western Treasures - Boston Will's trip
Aug 2004 in the Eastern and Western Treasures
If you want to ask any questions about any part of the hunting here from a USA guy that has been on all the UK tours then drop Mass Bruce an e-mail Jokadiver@comcast.net
Watch the video of Mike's hunt catured by Sal on his hat cam Nov 2010
Digging in England:
Turn back the clock four years to the fall of 2007: a unique opportunity presented itself to my digging buddy Sal, by a gentleman from Colchester, England, (an outfitter for metal detecting tours in southeast England who specifically caters to an American and Canadian clientele). He had heard about Sal and his now famous “Hatcam” and invited him over for a week-long detecting trip to film some finds being made as they happen and post the video online for all to see. Well, Sal jumped at the opportunity, and the rest as we say is history.
Since 2007, I have wanted to make the trip over to England with Sal, but whether it be work- or family-related, I could not find a way to get over to England to hunt with Sal… That is until November 2010!
The first site was a nice piece of high ground, just a stone’s throw from an early Medieval Abbey. The six of us could not get out of the van and into the field fast enough. We all rushed into the field looking for a spot to hunt. Eventually everyone settled down in spots in the field and finds were being made in less than 30 minutes. At last my dream of digging in England was coming true.
Sal had told me a good goal to set was finding one hammered coin a day, and if you could match that, then that was considered a good hunt. With that in mind, I set out to at least attain that goal. About an hour into the hunt, and with few small targets in my pouch, I got a nice reading on my detector. I dug three or four inches into mucky wet soil to expose a cut piece of something silver. I called Sal to come over and look at the silver. To my excitement Sal revealed I had just dug my first piece of hammered silver (“Hammies,” as they’re called). I was ecstatic! It turned out that the cut coin was a 13th century hammered penny (1280 – 1286, Alexander III, 2nd coinage, Class 1).
Day two started off bright and early on a new site we picked out for the morning hunt. With a choice of over 300 sites to pick from, it would have been a daunting task to decide which field to go to first, but with Sal’s experience and attention research of which sites had produced good finds earlier in the season and in the past, we decided on a field. Almost immediately, good finds were surfacing: a milled silver coin; a 1700’s copper coin; a Roman bronze coin; a lead token; a Russian bale seal. The finds were coming fast and furious. As the morning wore on, we all had some really nice finds in our pouch. At lunch, we made the decision to stay at there for the rest of the day, and I am especially glad we did.
Not long after lunch, Roman bronze coins were popping out of the ground, but I hadn’t found one yet. As I scanned the field, I saw Canada Ron digging a target and then proceeding to clean it, so off I went to see what he had just recovered. Low and behold, another large Roman bronze coin! I congratulated him, went back toward my detector about 100 yards off. Ron said feel free to come over here to find one of those Roman bronzes, for yourself. So I took him up on his offer. I decided to detect on the way over to Ron’s Roman bronze “honey hole”. Twenty yards or so on my trek to Ron, I get a nice clean (round) signal. One of those, “ya gotta dig me”, signals. Well, four inches down into the compacted loamy soil, pops out what appeared to be a nice silver button, but no shank or remnant could be found. The round silver disk had a slight convex shape to it, so coin was the last thing on my mind, since I knew coins were flat and not convex. The details were really good, but I could not decipher exactly what was on the disk. As luck would have it, a local friend of the Outfitter was out in the field hunting with us for a few hours, and who better to show this silver disk to then a local who knows more about this stuff then us Yanks. I called “Hey Mark come see this find. I need an ID on it!” As he approached I said “Mark, tell me this is Roman!” more jokingly than anything else. As I plopped the find into his hand, I could see his eyes get large and a look of “Holy $#@!!!” He said “No, it’s not Roman” to my dismay. Next he said, “It’s better than Roman, it’s Celtic and Celtic Silver at that”! I knew I had something special just by the look on Mark’s face and the sheer excitement in his voice. My oldest find just went from 1280 AD to 1st century BC, an entire 1300 years earlier. WOW - just amazing! Later that night, we would find out that this coin is much rarer than Celtic gold and that the ruler, who ruled the Celts in this area, had his or her initials on the coin “AGR”, whom very little is known of to date. Further investigation would reveal that only 5 specimens of this exact coin exist and that several are in museums throughout England. Truly a treasure, no doubt! After a find like this, my week long hunt was already a big success and only 1.5 days into the hunt. I was just cruisin’ from this point on. Little did I know more great finds were in store for me in the days to come.
As DAY TWO ended and all finds were added up, a nice pile of Roman bronzes were found, several milled silver coins and three or four medieval hammered coins, not to mention, tons of buttons and medieval relics. A good day, indeed by all.
DAY THREE would have us visiting a newly leased site, which only saw one group of hunters on the site prior to our arrival. The site was known to have given up an ancient gold necklace last year, to an elderly gentleman. So, the prospect of finding another piece of ancient gold was exciting for us all. After meeting the landowner and getting a feel for the lay of the land, off we went. Most of the group stuck together, doing a systematic site investigation looking for any metal targets in the ground to basically identify a home site, or gathering place and to determine its age. Well, after an hour of little more than a flat button, rivet and a milled silver coin found by Ron, I was ready to make my way to greener pastures. As I talked to Sal about our need to push on, he said let’s give it 15 more minutes. “Remember that ancient gold find!” That was all he had to say. Again, off I went swinging the coil faster than usual, looking for the signs of some occupation. Bam! All of a sudden, a screamer of a signal pops up. Now I was pumped. Down I dug eight inches into the mucky loamy soil, to see a large piece of copper/brass with jagged edges. I called Sal over to ID my find and to my dismay, found out it was World War II anti-aircraft shrapnel. Although an interesting find, that is not what I had hoped for. Back to detecting we went. Two more signals and two more pieces of shrapnel for me it was time to move elsewhere. As I turned to head off in another direction, I got another signal but this one being much smaller than the previous ones. So down I dug into the mucky ground, flipped the clod out and right on the top of the clod was a silver round coin-like object staring back at me. My first thought was a 1700’s era one piece button. I picked it out of the clod, and could see full details of a man’s face in profile view. It had a certain “Roman” look to it, but I didn’t want to jump to conclusions. Again I called Sal & Craig over for an ID. Sal turned on the “Hatcam” and made his way towards me from about 60 yards away. In the mean time, I plopped the coin into Craig’s hand, and by the look on his face I knew I had found something good. He said, “congrats Mike, you have yourself a Roman silver coin”. Talk about a jaw dropper! This was one of my big goals I set for myself to find on this hunt. So two and a half days into a week-long hunt, and I’ve already got a Celtic silver coin from the 1st century BC, and now a Roman Silver coin from the 1st century AD. WOW, it can’t possibly get better! Again, the day would end with me making a few nice finds to include a hammered Dutch coin from 1485, as well as a 15th century full groat and other hammered coins being found by others in our group.
The morning of day four, had us visiting a new site, which had given up some nice medieval finds for Sal’s team in the past. Upon arrival, we noticed that one part of the field was covered in crop, and made detecting next to impossible. This was where the bulk of the finds came from last year for Sal’s team. Much of the property was still available to detect, so off we went in search of ancient treasure. A few hours in, we had one medieval hammered silver coin and a few odds and ends to show for our efforts. Thankful for the hammered coin, we decided to move on and spend the rest of the day after lunch, at the site where the Celtic silver coin and several Roman bronzes came from earlier in the week. So we ate, loaded up our gear and made the short drive to this site.
Having spent a day on the site already, we all had our spots in the field we wanted to re-visit since targets were still popping out of the ground when we ended the hunt two days earlier. I made my way to a spot that was giving up medieval era relics and coins and Ron, Craig and Sal went back to their Roman bronze coin find spots. It didn’t take long before a few more Roman bronzes appeared, as well as a nice Queen Elizabeth 16th Century hammered silver coin, a King Charles I hammered silver coin, and a few 1700’s-1800’s copper coins. As the day wore on and night time fell, we all found ourselves stretched out over the 100’s of acres of fields. An occasional flicker of a headlamp was all that one could see to let you know you were not the only one out there on this vast expanse of farm land. It was dark, cold and lonely for hours at a time, but knowing that that next signal could be a “stonker” of a find kept us going. The nine O’clock hour was quickly approaching and I made a point to find Sal and a few others to see what was being found and to get ready for the hike back to the van. After locating Sal, we talked a bit, ate a quick snack to re-charge the batteries, and decided to walk a spot we had some luck earlier in the day and on the previous day. Minutes before I walked up Sal had found another Roman bronze and hammered silver coin nearby. We had about 30 minutes left before it was time to leave. We both lined up a few paces apart and walked a line toward the tree line at the opposing end of the field. About 100 yds down, we both had several targets in our pouch. I made the decision to do an about face to trek back the direction I had just come from after pacing off one coils sweep length to my left. I slowly (only way I know how to hunt) made by way down this row knowing this would be it for the night. Sal soon caught up with me and was on line with me just 10 paces to my right. We both made a few more recoveries in the next few minutes, 9PM just being five minutes or so away. I knew that if I were to make a good find for the day, it would have to be in the next flip of the shovel. Well, as luck would have it, a shotgun shell reared its ugly head about 3 minutes til 9PM. I thought this can’t be my last signal of the day and hollered at Sal and said “One more target!” He said okay, let’s do it. So off I swung and not more than 10 feet in front of the last target, I get a nice sweet round signal. I said, “Sal I got a nice signal and this’ll be it for me for the night”. He nodded and went back to swinging his coil. A quick cut and flip of the plug removed the target from the hole. I knelt down, took out my pinpointer and started poking around in the clod until the target was found. I grabbed for the target with a fistful of mucky soil, in tow. After not so careful removal of the muck, I could see what appeared to be a gold plated button, as several had been dug by me earlier that day and night. So haphazardly, I swiped my gloved finger over the disk to reveal a chunky, hefty, semi-circular, golden colored disk. I knew at this point, this WAS NOT a button. Maybe just maybe, I have something special here. At that point, the headphones went flying, as did the pinpointer. I jumped up to a prone position and yelled out, “Sal, come take a look!! I think I might have gold!!” I think he knew by the sound of my voice that I wasn’t BS’ing him (as I sometimes have in past hunts, although unintentionally). He flipped on his “Hatcam” and made his way over to see what it was I had just dug. As he approached, I cleaned the bulk of the caked on dirt from the golden disk with some water from my water bottle. As the water washed the golden disk clean, I could see a horse standing proudly, revealing his statuesque equine posture for the first time in two millennia. It was then and there that I realized I had just found my first gold coin in almost 30 years of metal detecting. At that point, my feelings and emotions took over, and to be honest, I couldn’t tell ya what I did or said after that point for a good five or ten minutes. I was in auto-pilot! I just know it was a feeling I had never felt before. It literally brought tears to my eyes. Unless you have experienced finding a gold coin, you can’t begin to imagine the feelings that went through me at that moment, once I knew I had just uncovered a 2000 year old gold coin. I still get chills just thinking about it. To share that moment with my close detecting buddies made it even more special. If it weren’t for a combined group effort, none of my finds would have been possible. Thanks, Sal’s Hard Core team 2010.
Lucky for me, Sal was there to capture that special moment on film. This hunt will forever leave an indelible mark in my memory, as I’m sure it will for the five hard core hunters that were there with me on this hunt.
So to close, I’ll just say this… If you are as passionate about this great hobby and the history behind the finds, as I am, you really need to consider making a detecting trip to England. There is nothing like it in this hobby that quite compares. Why don’t you find out for yourself? Give Sal a shout; he’ll make your dream become a reality. Cheers, brotha!!
I had a terrific visit to Colchester and came away with an even greater appreciation for what our host offers to avid metal detectorists and amateur treasure hunters around the world.
Where else would I have the opportunity to find artifacts going all the way back to the bronze age with a metal detector in the United States? I’ve been enjoying the hobby for over 25 years and my oldest coin was a dime dated 1849. I had never found a gold coin. Now I’ve found my first gold coin as well as oldest (before 50BC) with one careful patient swipe of the detector. Celtic gold. Fantastic! Also, a gold ring going back to 1300BC. You’ve got to be kidding me. Wow! A Saxon Sceat, hammered silver and a host of other interesting things were found that really made for a totally awesome trip.
It’s clear from the start that your tours are not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of time, patience, expertise in using the detector and a bit of luck to come away with what we’re all hoping to find. This unequivocally has stated many times that this isn’t a sheepherders or old people’s tour. This is for hardcore totally obsessed detectorists. If you want a balanced trip that includes museums, sports games, and touristy tidbits this trip is not for you. If you are willing and able to detect for hours on end until your arm is about to fall off in any weather condition for the possibility of some really old and really cool stuff you’ve come to the right place.
The Colchester area is rich with history that makes the ground a virtual smorgasbord of historical artifacts and coinage that is tossed and mixed together thanks to the annual tiling of the plow. Using a detector in an attempt to search and recover these possessions of our ancestors is a real treat as well as challenge. A lot of the targets are pieces of lead which were obviously used for multiple purposes in the past. You can’t discriminate out the lead without risking missing out on some real goodies like gold and silver. It calls for a lot of patience. Detector settings have to be set differently then we’re used too back home. Some of the “soft” poor targets may end up being the best finds of the trip. This calls for a deliberate low and slow movement of the detector coil. Good targets can be right on top or at depth. Thin hammered silver and gold coins can read as poorly as aluminum foil.
It can get really windy, rainy and cold. The wet conditions cause mud to stick to everything … your boots, the detector coil the shovel … I mean everything! You have to be both mentally and physically prepared for whatever weather that happens because you didn’t come all this way to sit under a tree or visit museums. Some of the best finds are found in some really crappy conditions. Remember that wet ground makes for better conductivity and compresses the soil. It’s like a whole new field.
There are literally thousands of acres available for hunting. You get to choose the location for your search on a daily basis. The Celtic, Roman and Saxon influences were huge in this area. It makes the finds so much more interesting and fun if you do a little bit of homework on the history of England and Colchester. Don’t ask our host dumb questions such as: “Were there ever Romans here?”
I had days when I got totally skunked and moments that I will remember forever. I’m hoping for many future visits in the years ahead.
Canadian Gord is chairman of a local detecting club in Canada. We never take ourselves too seriously here with lots of banter and piss taking especially when we are getting skunked. Gord was a great guy to hunt with joined in the banter straight away and his finds were not too shabby either LOL. Sal made a 'hat cam' video of his trip here (90 minutes worth) and captured Gord later that night after he had stopped jibbering. Download the vid here Video download
Celtic gold stater 16.76mm,5.89g now recorded as CCI 08.9338
'Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, I couldn't check the cards in Oxford until yesterday. There are two very similar series of these coins, as Philip says, one produced in the Essex region, probably by the Trinovantes, and a direct copy of it struck in Suffolk or Norfolk, perhaps by the Iceni; both types with a whorl below the horse are very rare. Your coin belongs to the former group and is a die duplicate of BMC 345; the second group is the one represented by BMC 3353-3355 and is slightly cruder and lighter. Almost the only other way to tell them apart is by the obverse dies - your coin is struck from a very worn Whaddon Chase type obverse which continues in use paired with several reverse varieties, whereas the East Anglian group copies this almost blank die. There are only seven coins known of the Essex type with a whorl reverse; yours is the third one from this reverse die, as well as BMC 345 there's a water-worn example from the 1905 Clacton Beach hoard.
All the best'
Gord's great 'newbie' view of hunting here. Gord was on Idaho Gerry's Barn hunt self catering group. They have their own mini bus and come and go as they please on 250 fields. They pick their own start and finish times.
In a way it is nice not to be a "newbie" now but to be just one of the guys. Then again, as Orv has pointed out, newbies did pretty well this year so that monicker proved to be pretty lucky when it came to some very nice finds. LOL.
As one of seven members of Gerry's boys, I couldn't wait to get to the Barn house to get settled, put our detectors together and get ready for the first day of detecting at Colchester. The three bedrooms were quickly claimed by Gerry, Jeff, Tom, Gene and Ed, leaving myself and Chuck to either share a sofabed or use the two foldaways that Robert had recently purchased. We chose the individual foldaway beds. LOL. Monday was to be our first day of detecting. Our host had the shovels, the maps, the GPS in Scoobie bus.. I think all four newbies to Colchester had a little nervous trepidation as we awaited our first meeting with you. Scoobie bus, the famous or infamous Scoobie pulled in the drive and out popped our host with a smile on his face and a strange accent. Then again, as this was his country and as visitors, we were the ones with the accent. Introductions and formalities were quickly completed and the banter started. It was nice to see that Gerry and not the newbies would be the focus of your piss taking. Monday we were to start our hunt at an old church site. The adventure begins.
Hopefully, on our next visit, Orv and I and all the other Fall newbies won't experience the "sophomore" jinx that Gene was under this November. Man, I felt for him. It was like a dark cloud was over his head. Then again, after seeing his gold and hammereds from March, those feelings slowly went away.
I know just how lucky I was to find some of the milled silver coins that my coil crossed over. The new land we did on the second Tuesday and Wednesday almost sucked my brains out. It was so huge. While a few guys managed to pull out some hammered coins, I could only seem to find a few buttons until I managed that "bullhead" 1819 silver milled in the dead centre of the third huge field that Jeff and I hunted. And we didn't even get close to going on the 5 or more other fields that farmer owned. We felt the same at the "Abbey" fields. We knew that great finds had been made, but there were so many fields in the group to choose from and each field was so big that we weren't sure where to start. There was so much land to cover and my coil seemed to get smaller once we started. It's a tough grind but if you are willing to work hard and swing your coil over a lot of land, the relics and coins are there for the finding. On our second day at ***** near his house, I must have walked five miles while swinging my coil over buttons and other unidentifiable items. Then, the guys waved to come back to the van for lunch and to decide what we were going to do in the afternoon. I cut diagonally across the field toward the van. BANG!!!!!, a good signal. Digging down, I placed the dirt from the hole to the side, checked it with my detector then went to work to find the target in the pile. Silver with two hearts and a crown held together by what looked like a paperclip. Treasure, and only 50 yards or so from the van. Wow, I had found a cufflink from the Charles II era, around the 1670's.
When I got back to the van, I shared my find with my fellow hunters. Nice find Gord. Was it the best find so far? Some said yes while others said no. Gene thought it was nice but boldly predicted that it would be beaten as best find by the end of the day. I didn't realize that Gene was such a seer.
It was decided to stay on *****, but we were to drive about 2-3 miles to ***** hill. Once there, Tom headed to the next field over, Gene and Ed hunted the left side of the field, Chuck, Jeff and Gerry went down the hill toward the town to another field and I hunted the centre and right side of ***** hill. I was pretty focused such that when I turned around, there was no one to be seen. They had all disappeared to different fields. I kept going. It was mostly buttons and trash, but I persisted. Then, 3/4 of the way up the field on the right side, another BANG. Down went the shovel only a few inches into the dirt. Out came the pile of dirt. I just stood there, dazed. There in the hole, only a few inches from the surface layed a gold disc with what appeared to be wheat sheaves on it. I knew immediately what it was, having lurked on the website for over 3 years. I fell to my knees, picked up the coin and turned it over. It was immaculate, shiny, gold and a pony. It was, for sure Celtic gold. I grabbed my gps and set a waypoint. I then jumped to my feet and started bouncing around, yelling and screaming to my fellow hunters to let them know what I had found. Silence. No one within a mile. No one to share my find with. Then the enormity of my find struck me. I fell back to my knees, put the coin back down and took a few pictures. I gathered the coin back up, safely put it between a few cotton balls in a film container and tried to grid the general area. I shook the whole time. Finally it was starting to get dark. The guys started to head back to the van. Ed passed me. Then Gene approached the field. I waved to him to come over and at the same time I started to walk toward him. First I asked him if he remembered what he had said at the other field about my silver cufflinks being beaten as best find of the day. He looked at me, smiled and said "You found gold?" I handed him the container which he opened and revealed the coin. His smile got way bigger and I could see how excited he was and how happy he was for me. I couldn't have asked for a better person to show my find to first. I will always remember Gene, his prediction and his response. The other guys all got to see the find as they came back up the hill. The response was universal. To say that it changed the attitude of the members of the barnhouse team from just okay to being on a high is an understatement. As we drove back in the van to the barnhouse, Gerry called our host to tell him about the find. Gerry handed me the phone and when he asked me to describe the coin, all I could do was babble. Then the phone went dead. LOL
1490-1504 Henry VII hammered silver sovereign penny
All remaining days of our hunt had new energy. We found some great finds but no more gold. It wasn't through lack of effort though. The guys detected their butts off. The eleven days ended way too soon. We handed in the finds for our stay to be correctly recorded and exported.. We headed back to Heathrow and a plane home. Good detecting, good memories and new friends. I can't wait to get back to detect some of the other 200+ fields that I haven't even seen. So much land and so little time.
Orv is chairman of the Idaho detecting club and the first guy ever to send two testimonial of the same trip LOL. Orv proved that a newbie with a positive attitude and good skill can find just as much or more than any senior member. His 2nd Testimonail as a newbie is under his original one.
'Many thanks for this interesting new find, which I have recorded as EMC 2008.0410.
This seems to be a new variety of the Vernus type, with an inscription reading VE[N?]VEO. It does not really belong to any of the varieties of the Vernus type described in Michael Metcalf's Thrymsas and Sceattas.
Orv's 50Bc Gallo Belgic Celtic gold stater - 17.42mm, 6.19g CCI 08.9320
The cheesey grin of a man who found Celtic gold LOL
I just wanted to let you know, from someone that has never ventured anywhere outside North America, you made my first trip abroad WONDERFUL!!!
I, once again am sitting here thinking about the wonderful trip that I had in England, as I do on most nights. Now, I have been meaning to write you many times with a testimonial of my actual experience as a newbie hunting the England fields as a newbie, and trying to separate 'you' from the detecting. For me that is really not an easy thing to do. Due to the fact that I sat behind you every day and listened to you talk about the finds, the history, and the land....I was so fascinated but what you had to say, I just wanted more, and more....I will try and write what it was really like for me as a newbie detecting, and not me as a newbie just in the bus listening to you and taking in your knowledge. First I have to mention that I absolutely thrive on knowledge. The more I know the more I want to know!!! OK OK I will quit babbling now, and get on with what I want to write.
Mindy's Gallo Belgic 50BC Celtic gold stater 6.38g, 16.96mm
Mindy found the ultimate find this trip a 50 BC Celtic gold coin
The three Colchester Treasure Hunts I've taken have been the highlights of my recent life. I was a complete newby the first trip a year ago; I was loaned a CoinStrike to use, and by the end of the week I felt pretty comfortable with it and was able to find more goodies than I'd ever hoped! By my second trip, I'd bought my own CoinStrike and had an even better group of finds, including three hammered silver coins. By my third trip I'd upgraded to a Fisher F75 and dug more targets each day than I thought possible, including more hammies, Roman coins, some great buttons, a full crotal bell and even a Celtic Gold coin. I've talked to people who've participated in other tours of this kind, and I'm convinced that the Colchester Treasure Hunting experience is a cut above. The members are all incredibly supportive and helpful, through the Forum and during the tours; the wealth of information our host has at hand, coupled with the many experts who contribute their vast knowledge of our finds, means we're not just finding "interesting old stuff," but learning the history and significance of our finds, which adds a great deal to the experience. In the mornings and evenings, we're well-fed and well taken care-of; by day, we HUNT. These trips are pretty hard-core. Depending on the season we're spending upwards of 10 hours a day on the fields, in all kinds of weather conditions (pay attention to advice the old-timers give on the forum regarding packing and
Husband and wife team Clarence and Mary Sparks first trip here during the worst weather for 40 years and they still enjoyed it LOL They found some great do dads including Clarence's two monster finds which have just got their export license approved.
1050- 1053 Saxon - Edward the Confessor hammered silver penny - expanding cross type - heavy coinage
Team Lucky Dog in Colchester
It was a dark and stormy night, make that a week’s worth of them, when Team Lucky Dog arrived in Colchester in March, 2008. The weather was much like Oregon with cold rain, winds, hail and some snow. The difference was, when the weather gets too bad in Oregon, you can just hop in your car and go home. We had come to Colchester to find treasures and you can’t find them sitting in a warm house. We were waiting by the back door dressed in several layers of clothing and rain gear when our guide picked us up at the non smoking house every morning at 8am.
Since we were new to Colchester, we let the pros, NH Dave and NS Andy, chose the fields each morning. We were given the history of the area as we pulled up and a quick rundown of who had found what and where. We grabbed our shovels, detectors and gear and off we went. Our guide returned at 1pm with a hot lunch, soup, hot pasties (yummy), chips (they call them crisps), fruit tarts for dessert and candy bars to stick in your pocket for the afternoon. This is probably the only time you can talk to the others in your group. It’s fun to hear what the others have found while you were digging musket balls and greenies all morning. We usually stayed out until 6pm and were glad to see the little Scoobie bus coming to pick us up.
Depending on the field, you are out all day with no where to escape the rain and wind. Sometimes you have a farm shed for shelter or a tree to get under. Trees, bushes or ditches also serve as bathroom facilities. This is where the guys have a definite advantage over the women. Ladies, when there are only six people in a 500 acre field, you can find an adequate spot when nature calls. These metal detecting trips are not just for the guys.
We stayed at the non-smokers house. We would peel off boots and rain gear and leave the muddy detectors at the back door. You have a few minutes to clean some of the mud off your face and hands then sit down at the dining table for a fabulous dinner. Lorna is a wonderful cook and if you leave her table hungry, it’s your own fault. We had fabulous dinners every night like roast pork, cottage pie, salmon, fabulous side dishes and dessert. There were at least five different things on your plate every night plus a dessert. After much laughter and telling of tales, we would get to work cleaning up our finds of the day. That done, we had about enough energy to take a hot shower and climb into bed. The next morning, we were down for breakfast at 7am, eager and ready to do it all over again.
People think we are crazy to call this a vacation. We spent our 21st wedding anniversary out detecting in one of the worst weather days. The wind was blowing so hard, it could knock you off your feet. Then there was the hail…………..and the rain………..but it was a great day, and certainly memorable. We will be back next March, to spend our 22nd Anniversary looking for treasure in the English countryside.
Tom found a stonker while with Idaho Gerry's go as you please Barn trip, Tom was on the first week of Gerry's two week tour
A Metal Detecting Trip To Remember
I wasn’t sure what to expect when a last minute cancelation allowed me to join Gerry McMullen’s group headed to Colchester, England on a metal detecting trip. It was one of those “package trips.” Included was your food, room and board, transportation to and from the prearranged hunt sites, documentation of your finds and your export license. I flew out of Seattle, having never before flown on an international flight. With passport and confirmation letter at the ready I arrived at the self check-in station. I followed the instructions on the monitor: touch the screen and enter your flight number or name. All was going well until it instructed me to scan my passport. I looked in the immediate area and observed nothing that appeared to be a scanner. However, I did observe a large slot below the monitor. Feeling awkward and not wanting to slow the line down I stuck my passport into the large slot below the monitor and waited. Nothing! No lights, no sound and nothing to indicate that my passport had been scanned. Doing what comes very hard to a male, I asked for help from the person behind the counter. He quickly pointed out the scanner, which was located to my far right. Placing my passport in the scanner I heard and saw the expected sounds and lights. As it turned out, the slot in which I had placed my passport was the ticket dispenser. I could only hope that nobody had been watching.Tickets in hand I headed for airport security. I always carry-on my primary metal detector for fear of it being lost in checked luggage. I had flown before with my metal detector as carry-on and expected some reaction as my bag went through the x-ray machine. I removed all metal items from my person and slipped off my shoes, placing all in the provided tub. I then sent the tub and my bag through the x-ray machine and stepped through the metal detector. No beep, this is always a good feeling. As my carry-on bag passed through the x-ray machine all movement stopped. The person behind the monitor was joined by another. They began pointing at the monitor. I knew they were looking at my bag. Movement soon started again and out came my tub and bag, followed closely by a TSA inspector. In a deep voice he asked, “Is this your bag?” I acknowledged that it was and started to explain it was a metal detector inside. But before I could say a word he asked, “Do you have liquid inside this bag?” I thought for a moment and responded that I might have after shave in my shave kit, to which he said, “I need to search this bag.” The TSA inspector opened my very full bag and having a desire to help, I started to point to the shave kit. He quickly stopped me, instructing me not to touch the bag. He then removed the shave kit himself and opened it. Soon he pulled out my toothpaste and told me that I was not allowed to bring more than three ounces of liquid on the plane. “Yours,” he said, “is a four ounce container.” I pointed out that the container was only half full, thus within their 3oz requirement. He found no humor in my comment, making it clear that it was the container size that mattered. He then asked to dispose of it, which I allowed. Nothing was ever asked or said about the metal detector. My plane left on schedule and I arrived in Chicago for my connecting flight. Here I was to meet up with others going on the trip. As I approached my departure gate I heard a familiar voice calling my name. It was Gerry; it was good to see a familiar face. With Gerry were two others, Marc and Gene. I immediately took a liking to both. It was obvious that Gerry had given some thought to who he was taking on the trip, putting together a great group of people with common interest.
At the Barn House we unloaded our luggage. Gene and I took a room together, which had two single beds in it. Dan got a room to himself and Scott and Jerry took the downstairs hideaway bed and cot. Marc and Gerry, well, they shared a room with one queen bed. This was the cause of many great jokes, which are best left unsaid here.
About the Author: Tom Reyes is a law enforcement officer in Washington State. Three years ago he once again took up the hobby of metal detecting. His trip to England was made possible by his loving wife Teri and Gerry McMullen who owns Gerry’s Metal Detectors in Boise, Idaho.
March 2008 - Tenn Mark was the driver on the Idaho Gerry's Barn hunt and managed to keep the bus in one piece for all of the two weeks in festering weather, great job !!
The experiance of this first trip has been far behond my expectations I had hoped for.The weather was a challenge for the duration with winds and rain most of the time.This did not stop the amazing finds that we dug EVERY Day!The accomadations were amazing with all needs covered!!
Our host was always there for us with his expert anlyisis of your finds and giudance throughout our stay.We woke up every morning eagerly anticipating what we will find today and we were rewarded EVERY DAY!
Ohio Scott was with Idho Gerry's Barn hunt team and the boys were on fire !!
I wanted to write you and say how great my trip to England was. The metal detecting finds far exceeded my expectations and having you there to help identify our finds added so much to the hunt! Your wealth of knowledge and ability to secure great hunting grounds has convinced me that I want to make an annual pilgrimage to your area of England each year. I found so many neat things and am anxiously waiting for the official ID and the eventual export of my finds. Many people that I have talked to after I got back to Ohio have been intrigued by my trip. They think a holiday has to involve sitting on a beach or riding a roller coaster. They got a glimpse of what a real holiday is all about! I have enclosed a couple of movies that I took with my hat cam. Maybe you can use them. I hope that my finds will allow me to “join the club” and I can have me handle changed from newhunterscot to OhioScott! I plan to frequent your forum and I would like to add an avatar of one of my great finds to my new handle. Let me know what I need to do to have that done. I know my brother-in-law OhioJerry asked you about going in February next year. That is a good time for me to go as well as my work, like his picks up in March and it is harder for us to get away. We will work on putting together a group and discussing this further with you.
PS - My movies are too big to attach. If there is another way of uploading them to you, let me know and I will send them. I think you will like them!
Ohio Jerry did the first weeks self catering Barn hunt with Idaho Gerry's team, this is a go as you please hunt with you own mini bus.
Have just returned from a week of great times at Colchester. I was a new to all this and didn’t know what to expect. As one of 7 guys in Gerry McMullen’s group, we stayed at the Barn house. There is a kitchen with all the appliances and dishes, and we mostly cooked our own meals, but ate out at some of the local pubs now and then. Seemed that each of us had our own specialty when it came to cooking, and we ate great meals. That was part of the fun, getting to know each member of our team, and making new life long friends. The barn has beds for 5 (2 doubles and a twin), and a fold out couch, and a couple of cots. There is a nice hot tub, and a sauna, so bring your suit. We had a washing machine, which is nice, so you don’t have to bring so many clothes, but no dryer, so I dried my clothes in the sauna. Would have hung them outside, but it rained. There is a washroom, with a sink and countertop for washing the finds each night. We sure used that, as we had a great week of detecting, and the finds exceeded my expectations. Sure beats finding wheat pennies back home. The great thing about hunting over here is that you never know what your target will be, as you take that chunk of dirt with the target in it, divide it, and divide it again until your newest treasure appears. Quite often I found myself saying “Wonder what that is” and sure was good to have Gerry’s experience at identifying what it was. The finds range from Bronze Age, Celtic, Roman, Saxon, Medieval, and coins from the Kings and Queens, all in the same field. Amazing! Also, as a farmer from Ohio, I know what fields look like, but these fields our tour guide has lined up for us are so vast, and so many of them, you never run out of places to hunt.
Best of all is the head man , who has set this all up. He is first class, exceptionally knowledgeable, and really gets excited when he pours over your latest finds, identifying what they are, and how old and rare they are. Had a stonking good time!
Louisiana Sal's unique hunt using his Sony hatcam to record finds as he dug them
English Saxon Thrymsa gold coin - 'Witmen type' c620 -650 AD named after the hoard found in 1828. Sent off to the Fitzwilliam museum Corpus database for recording 1.26g, 11.46mm
My name is Sal. In the treasure hunting community I go by the name mudslideslim. I have been metal detecting/relic hunting for around 10 years. In more recent years, I have gotten more and more interested in detecting for historical artifacts, i.e. old buttons, bullets, coins, etc. In an effort to better document my historical relic hunts, I began video taping them about 3 years ago. Since then I have published these videos on the web for all to enjoy at http://treasureoutfitters.com. In the last couple of years, I began to seriously consider taking a detecting trip to England. I had heard of several different outfits but had shied away because they didn't look like they catered to the hardcore detectorist and were very expensive. I originally found out about the outfit in Colchester while searching the internet. Reading the website and talking to others in the treasure hunting community led me to believe that this outfit was different than the others. It appeared to be a reasonably priced hunt that catered to the hardcore detectorist. Well about 8 months ago (Colchester Treasure Hunting Holidays Proprietor) and I started communicating back and forth via email. He had learned about my videos and I was interesting in spending a week detecting in England. With this in mind, I decided to make a trip to the UK and video tape my metal detecting adventure.
Swedish Yngve had never ever picked up a detector before as it is illegal in Sweden and his first trip he was only getting his ears tuned LOL. He brought Swedish Richard with him on his 2nd trip and they kicked butt LOL If you have never detected before don't be daunted as we show you the ropes and can supply all the kit.
Chasing a Golden Pony
I am a coin collector
and I live in Sweden. In July 2006 I found a coin with a fascinating
horse on an Internet auction. It looked like gold and I started to bid.
I had no idea what it was, so I searched the Internet for answers. The
traces lead to antique Greek coins and Philip II, the father of Alexander
First I realized that the coins kept popping out of the ground in England and after some more reading on the huge site, I saw that you could actually become a member of the club and come and dig the ponies yourself. This was a very strange feeling when you are used to the Swedish laws of metal detecting.
Within weeks I had booked my first detecting holiday and it was great! I had five very nice hunting partners from the US who all tried to help the poor beginner. They pulled out one hammered silver coin after the other, while I was digging iron, copper and false signals :-(
My total coin count for the week reached 14 and one of them was an almost 300 years old silver Shilling. Only one of my finds made it to the finds pages and that was a coin weight. I also got a couple of thimbles, trade tokens, bale seals, a complete crotal bell and a handfull of musket balls, among other things.
There was only one thing to do: book another week :-)
This time I was rewarded. In April 2007 I was one of the hunters pulling out hammered silver and I felt that I was getting closer and closer to the Golden Pony! Statistics say that there is one Celtic gold found in every 9 weeks of work, so in a couple of more weeks I will find my first one.
I think I have to book another week....
Joe was with the Chicago Ron's team at the new Barn house which turned out to be almost purpose built for detecting teams
This being my first trip to England metal detecting, I really didn't know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised by the cottage we stayed in as it was a combination of "old world charm," with all the modern conveniences you could want. Comfortable bedrooms, a spacious living room, and gourmet kitchen made for an enjoyable stay. After many hours of detecting in what seemed like endless acres in a multitude of different fields, the hot tub and steam room relieved aching muscles. Those hours spent detecting were very rewarding, as I found many buttons, various artifacts, and an assortment of hammered copper and silver coins. Finding a Legionary Denarius of Marc Anthony 32-31 B.C. and a Saxon Silver Sceat 600-775A.D on my first trip . . . I wonder what great finds await me next time! Thank you for a fantastic trip.
Al is a well known guy at the Virginia hunts and worked his butt off for this little puppy LOL
This was my second trip hunting in Colchester. Both experiences have been great. We were met at the airport by a van which then took us to our home for the week. After lugging in our suitcases, quickly changing into field clothing and setting up our detectors we were out the door and taken to a site to hunt for the rest of the day. This was the pace for the rest of the week; out first thing in the morning, back after dark. This was truly a detectorist's dream, other than a brief break for a hot lunch which is brought out to us, we were detecting all day. The fields were enormous and the realization that the signal you heard might be anything spanning a period of over 2000 years was an exciting prospect. The hospitality shown by our hosts was terrific and the food at either house was plentiful and delicious. I'm already planning and looking forward to my next trip. Thanks for putting on an A1 detecting experience.
Kentucky Allen V
Had a real blast with the Mass team
I just wanted to drop
you a note of thanks for your hospitality. The trip was far more then
I expected. Having the opportunity to hunt on lands which have been
occupied for thousands of years was quite exciting. Speaking of the
land, when first arriving and seeing the vastness of the land to be
detected I must admit it was almost overwhelming. My first thought was
how I could even cover a small portion of all that land. Which piece
to choose, and where to hunt on the land chosen. It's easy to see one
could spend a lifetime detecting the land you have secured.
Cal Mark got one of the rarest Celtic coins ever found her on the last hour of his hunt , never over to the last swing LOL
want to thank you for a fantastic first hunting trip. From the first
day til the last it was exceptional, and the hospitality was outstanding.
The home and cooking were warm and comforting after a long day in the
NH Greg was lucky to be here and witness Ark Gary sucking up another Celtic gold LOL
Sorry it has taken so long to thank you for the great time I had detecting in Colchester and to tell others about what they are missing.We had the flood here in Alstead not long after returning from England, and then I was out of state for several weeks, but the whole time I just couldn't go a day without dreaming of being back on the fields, unearthing the past, and making new friends. My detecting partner, Dave, and I are already booked to return next September and can hardly wait! For anyone who has already been on one of his treasure hunting holidays, nothing needs to be said. For those who are going for the first time, there are two questions you'll ask yourself: Why did I wait so long to book a tour? and How soon can I make a return trip?
you get to Colchester you are immediately made welcome and become part
of a 'family.' You stay in an English residence and have great Home
cooked meals, and can even raid the fridge if you feel the need for
that late night snack. Here in New Hampshire, I'm a 'lucky' detectorist
and do pretty well in finding some large coppers, a few old silver coins,
and some nice buttons and artifacts over the detecting season. I'm happy
if at least a third of it is from the 1700s. Over in Colchester, I found
far more in one weeks time than it takes me all year here in the states!
And don't forget that England's history goes back thousands of years
earlier than that of the U.S. Finding items from the 1700 and 1800s
is the 'new' stuff. I literally found hundreds of good targets while
there. Every new signal will get your adrenaline pumping in expectation
of what it could be. Dave found a 1580 Elizabeth hammered silver within
hours of us getting off the plane! I saw a new friend, Gary, find a
45 BC Celtic gold Stater in an area a bunch of us had already detected.
There is just so much history and so many targets that it will never
get hunted out.
Scott came with the 'hoard hunting team' of Mass Bruce and Linda, Texas Gary and Cal Shawn and the luck sure rubbed off on him quick LOL
wanted to drop a line to thank you for the superb detecting tour that
you provided. It had been seven years since my last trip to England
(with a less reputable outfit) and I did not know what to expect. Any
worries were quickly alleviated immediately upon my arrival and first
glance at the fields you had secured for the hunts. I certainly had
not anticipated such huge and beautiful tracts of farmland completely
open to us and teeming with items from so many periods of English history.
The frequency and variety of finds was simply outstanding, as evidenced
by my first full day which saw not only my own recovery of artifacts
(ranging from a Bronze Age axe to medieval hammered silver), but also
the finding of two Celtic gold coins and a silver Saxon strap end by
other members of our small group.
Digger lived up to his name as he dug hundreds of targets but his first ever hammered silver illuded him for 4 days but worth the wait as it was a beauty Lizzy LOL
have been wanting to e-mail you for two weeks and thank you for a great
time I had. This was my first trip out of the USA and was a trip of
a lifetime. Thanks also goes to you and your family for the great hospitality.
I told my wife about those fantastic dinners for a week.
like to thank you for a truly memorable trip. There was no let up in the
action, when we werent digging up curiosities in the fields you
were entertaining us with your sharp wit and classic British humour (spelt
with a u!). The dinner ritual of fantastic English home cuisine, carefully
matched with local beers was a fitting ending to each day, which always
turned up interesting finds. I have never seen better field conditions
which allowed long, effective and productive days of detecting. The Colchester
museum provided a great closure to the week compressing several thousand
years of history into a morning. Im not sure if this trip was recreation,
education or self-indulgance; the only thing it wasnt was boring.
Thanks for developing this unique opportunity, see you next year!
Ohio Tony- He has some special homing device for hammered silver. I told him the red flags with his name and an arrow pointing to the ground helped LOL
, Just had to send you a short thank you note for providing a great
vacation for me and four friends.
totally enjoyed the Holiday, it is a metal detectors dream. Metal detecting
in the State's will never be the same after hunting in the UK. The find's
were fantastic, digging a target and finding coins and artifacts that
are older than the United States itself is really fascinating. Knowing
I was the first to find and touch silver hammered coins and other artifacts
dating back to the 11th century and earlier is amazing. The food was
also great, I thought I would actually loose some weight with all the
walking I did, but that was not the case with all the food you served.
The Holiday is a trip I plan on taking again, I need to catch up to
Orlando Don and find one of those gold ponies.
Chicago Ron got the ultimate prize for their dedicated hunting
Cal Jeff and team were a great bunch of seriously hard hunters
I just wanted to thank you for making my first (and hopefully not the last!) metal detecting trip to England a reality. My stay with you was so much better than my best expectations. The finds, the fields, the food, the company and the service that you offer were all top-shelf!
The hunting is hard, no doubt about that. But for a hardcore detectorist it's a dream. Having a full 8+ hours a day in private, in unhunted territory is an amazing reality.
I'm looking forward to coming back again and again. Thank you for the work that you all put into your trips, and for putting up with us fanatical detectorists, it's so clear that you put your all into it and I really appreciate your time and hard work!
Cal Jeff's second trip he got the Roman Willy as find of the year LOL
Earl was dragged away screaming to do site see in London by his girlfriend and still kept smiling LOL
Manhattan Gary left with Mass 'Roman ring' Bill, between them they sucked up too much good stuff so they are barred LOL ( Bill ultimately got the 'find of the year' prize for his Roman gold ring )
Recently I went on a metal detecting trip with Colchester Treasure Hunting. I have to say it was a lot better than I could ever have imagined! Their country is beautiful, our hosts were great people.The food and lodgings were perfect ,I hope everyone that goes in the future will appreciate all the work that goes into our holiday.I would recommend that anyone going should slow down and appreciate the beauty of the area.The hunting fields are very big and can become overwhelming at times. Go with which field feels right for you! I personally would set small goals for finds such as maybe a coin weight or a nice lead seal etc.I was very lucky,I found a Saxon silver coin 680 -710 AD the first afternoon! I found a total of five hammered silver coins from the 14th century to the 16th century!The Biggest surprise was a 4th century roman gold ring with a stone!I'm proud to think that the British Museum may want to display it for everyone to enjoy and to think I recovered it from the ground from its hiding place approx 1600 years after this person lost it. Someday my family can go an see it.Thank you again for a great holiday
Sincerly Boston Bill
a great time! Even though I am more of a water guy, I really loved hunting
the fields in Colchester. You never know what was going to come up.
My wife asked me if my goal was to find a gold coin. I told her no.
Storm (Manhattan Gary)
Canadian Marjo sucked up some great finds during their trip including that Post Medieval gold ring, Dan now thinks they will share Marjo's find LOL
The week with the boys from Forida was a blast, especially with Orlando Rolo the 'human hoover' who even managed to eat my dinner portions and that is impressive LOL
Hi, Just a note to tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Colchester to hunt. The trip was more than I expected. The accomadations were great and I felt like I was part of the family for the week! Not many people would give up their home the way you do. The meals were great, even for a picky eater like myself. It was fun to try your traditional home cooked meals and the puddins were fantastic! I don't think I could find portions like that here in the states. As hard as we tried (10 hrs a day) to hunt all your fields, we just barely scratched the surface. It was a great feeling to hold a 1700 year old Roman coin in my hand! The targets were plentiful and I was tired at the end of the day. It was a treat to have the pic-nic lunches out in the fields, and fun to meet the landowners. I found them to be very interested not only in our finds, but in us, as visitors to their country. After going through 2 hurricanes, with a 3rd now heading straight for us, it was very relaxing to just sit out in the fields and enjoy the wildlife, birdsongs, even the geese flyovers. I am looking forward to our return trip in 2005, and who knows, maybe that hammered will find my coil! Thanks again for a great trip!
Don Hickey (DonFL)
In September just put me down for two weeks. I’m ready to give up my Reno trip, (gambling & Air Races) and New York trip, ( Deer Hunting ) just to be harassed by you. The trip is like Pierre Pepi La Pe U, making love to a dog, and the dog saying I think I had enough of this pleasure I can stand!( P U ) Phew!
You can have anyone call me for a recommendation. Michelle treats us like Royalty and the Chef, well he is a little touchy when he is cooking . (Anyone attempting to roam around the kitchen like a Lion waiting to be fed get's told to bugger off !! LOL) It helped that you are very knowledgeable about our finds. We liked the reference books you have available for us to use on most everything we would find. I really appreciated the clean up sink area. It made it easy for us to clean and sort our finds of the day. Total overall rating 10 stars plus! The only recommendation I have is to put water and chairs with shade at both ends of fields. This way we can rest at the end of the field. Those fields are big!And don’t forget about a Masseuse! This is one vacation I personally want to repeat and repeat.
Mass Linda was a Saint and put up with six smelly guys for a week and is even coming back for more ! LOL
I don't know how much I need to say about your trips , when after hunting the last week of the spring 2004 season, we booked the first week of the fall season before we even left England! That pretty much sums it up... I haven't laughed that hard for a week straight, nor have I hunted that hard, ate that much, been so muddy, slept so soundly, well, you get the idea! You made us feel truly welcome in your home, with great cooking, too. The main thing I came for was the possibility to hunt great fields in great condition, and to dig as much as I could. If that's what any detectorist wants in a trip, then yours is definitely the one to take. The quantity and mix of finds for our week was astounding. I've hunted on my own in England before your trip, but it's so much more fun to have a small group of serious hunters to dig with, and be able to share finds as you dig. Not to mention the knowledge of what a lot of the finds are - it's good to have someone to look at things you don't have a clue about! I spent hours each night going through your ID books... It's also a relief to have someone to coordinate our finds with the museum, and comply with the Treasure Act; hard to do when you're on your own.
Thanks for making me feel like 'one of the guys' on the trip. I learned a lot more about the finds, the culture, plus loads of new british expressions! In short, it was an absolute blast - it's going to be a long summer waiting for september and those beautiful fields....
What are these 3 copper discs
with coin on them ??
I wanted to drop you a line and say I just
had the trip of a life time.
Mass 'Axe hoard' Bruce
Californian Charles gave us all a lesson in how to find Roman coins !!
Am I out of my mind? It is 80 degrees here in Southern California in the middle of March and I am on an airplane flying 5484 miles to England where it is 20/40 degrees. I am standing in a large field ankle deep in mud. It is sleeting and raining. Does this sound like a sane person? If your hobby is metal detecting you are in heaven, listening for that beep that means you have found something that is maybe 4000 years old.
This is my second trip to England . I can’t say enough of the hospitality and care staying with Laura this trip. The lure of finding a treasure in the fields around Colchester has brought me back. And if you don’t find a treasure, 6 days of hunting, great food, and the making of new friends is a adventure come true for any one interested in metal detecting..
I will be coming back next September with my grandson, Nevada Mike, and we will find that treasure.
Myself and Arizona Jim had a real fun hunt for a week together before Boston Bud joined and jinxed us with that amazing 7thC Saxon gold coin find on his first day, we ended up getting pretty well skunked after that LOL !!!!
This is Jim Fleming. Sorry I have not contacted you before this but I really have been busy. I want to thank you and Michelle for a great time and for putting up with me. You and yours are the greatest people I have ever met. I will always remember this trip as one of the best trips I have ever been on
Nevada Gary nicknamed Mike 'Veggie man', if you try and feed him anything green he runs screaming for a burger !!
I never thought I would have come back so soon in 2003 but I have the bug now . I had to take you up on another great vacation . When I was by you in March of this year I was so overtaken by all the land you have to hunt and now you so much more . The Romans were hiding this time, real good, but we still did real good anyway. The goodies were still there . You have so much history in all these fields. I still have not unpacked my detectors because I am coming back in March of 2004 to hunt with friends again . Hunting by you is a dream come true for me . Please don't change anything you are doing because then it wouldn't be fun anymore . I hope you and your lovely wife have a great Xmas, and Newyear . If people really knew what they were missing out on I don't think I could get reservations for another week . Keep the good finds coming because I will be watching . MILWAUKEE MIKE ( VEGGIE MAN )
Arizona Bert held the oldest coin find ever found at 119BC
Just a note to offer my endorsement
of your operation. This was my first experience in overseas detecting
on an "arranged trip". What you said in your information is
what you delivered...... a rarity in today's world.
View Ohio Bud's report about his trip in the Gold Prospectors magaine
Ohio Bud was the guy that found that incredibly rare 550AD gold Saxon dagger cheaf which is now with the British museum undergoing extensive investigation and awaiting a Treasure inquest.
Both Ohio Bud and Nevada Gary have been told and read on forums by the 'other' tours that all the finds including the gold found on my tours is planted which makes me either a very generous person or I am now a registered detecting charity!!!
I have been back home for three weeks now and finally got around to writing to you about my trip there. I have a complaint however. I was there for two weeks and only found 2 pieces of gold!!! Just kidding!!! I had a great time and plan to return soon. I was a little apprehensive before making the trip because of comments I had read on the Internet. Thankfully my decision to ignore their stupidity was the correct decision. I felt a little put out at first when you said that we had to pick our own fields to detect on each day. This turned out to be fun however as we could pick weather we wanted to detect where Hammered Silver, Roman, Celtic, Bronze Axe head or a Washington Inaugural Button had been found. You probably have the best fields in England for us Yanks to detect in. The potential is enormous.
All in all, the trip was much better than I expected. The pick up and return to the airport was excellent. The accommodations and food were exceptional. Our stay with Lorna was a highlight of the trip. I felt as if I were at home. I actually took pictures of some of the dinners. You and Michelle are great hosts and I thank you for making my experience there a delight.
Sincerely, Bud Kaczor
Nevada Gary ( the last guy to leave before the break) looks like he needs another 'fix' already !!
Well, in reply to all the doubting
Thomases out there, I can say the stay with you and the detecting was
all that was promised and much more. Simply put, I can’t imagine
a better stay, more fun, better hunting land or a better mix of dectectorists.
As they say, this is the real deal for anyone looking for a chance to
find and or bring back the kind of things that any detectorist in any
country can only dream about.
Ps—could I bring you something from Nevada?
|Texas John taught me
how to chew tobacco and spit like a Texan
Well, Im finally over my jet lag and I wanted to drop you a line to say what a great time I had. I have had a lot of great treasure hunting experiences, but this was at the top of my list. If it wasnt for the long flight over, Id be back next week. I was a little unsure about staying in someones home for a week but that turned out to be one of the best parts of the trip. It didnt feel like I was on a for hirehunt but instead, like I was spending a few days in the home of someone that I hunt with every weekend. I felt totally comfortable in your culture and it was really neat (although it did take me a day or two to figure out what half twelve was). I have already had the opportunity to recommend your hunt to someone else. I must say it was five star when it came to being accurately represented. You are excellent hosts and now I consider yall good friends. I really enjoyed learning about some of the events in your history, and to think that I found artifacts from 10 A.D. is astonishing. You made me feel welcome and when we left I really expected to hear you use the old Texas sayin yall come back now, hear!
John L. Hitt JLHTX
The Texans invaded with the two Hitt Bros and Dave, I nearly learned how to spit properly ! Great fun, heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeha
Jim, Dave and John the 'Texans'
Jim had an interesting style of roping and branding his finds !
Thought I would drop a line
to say how very, very, much I enjoyed the stay with you. For an old
retired Texas cowboy, this was certainly the trip of a lifetime. The
detecting, the hospitality, the food, camaraderie, everything.
Texas Dave could sure sniff out the hammered silver !!
Just wanted to say "Thanks"
and tell you how much I enjoyed my trip and stay in your home. You made
three old country boys from Texas feel at home. The finds were great
and the food was outstanding. Hope to see you again.
We both had a brilliant week with Dave and Dan, their wives Vickie and Lynn
Dave and Vickie
An experience of a lifetime.
Not only did we make some interesting and awesome finds in the fields,
we made two awesome finds in the friendships . You both made us feel
as welcome in your home as any of our family members would. You are
as up front and knowledgeable as they come. You have so much land at
your doorsteps that I can invision nothing but success in your future.
It was a dectorists dream to be able to wander through such fields so
rich in history. Every field has the potential of giving up awesome
finds. The one week we stayed was great, but I can honestly understand
now why a two week stay would be needed to fully experience a taste
of all the land available. Not a day went by that we could honestly
say we were not well fed! Michelle, your humor and wit were an experience
in itself! Not only were we able to pick up on some catchy phrases,
she made the time to take Vicie & Lynn around and about Colchester.
Again, you made us feel very comfortable in your home.
New Yorker Jim and team (these guys sure hunted hard and NE Jerry' the tornado'smashed the coin record easily with 86 coins in a week)
Just wanted to drop you a quick note to say what a great time Dave, Jerry and I all had on your tour this year. Only wish we had made it a 2 week trip instead of only one! Everything was great, from the meals your to the weather, the fields and the finds! Especially my gold coin :) I Don't know of any other tour that allows for so much time hunting and choices of hunting sites, not to mention the great hosts.. Keep up the great work and we will be back I am sure.. Still gotta find me a hammered gold..
Californian Dan is the lucky son of a gun that got that Intaglio
We had to nickname him Alaskan 'goldfinger' Todd as this guy just kicked arse everywhere he went and did the treble gold in a week, just amazing to watch!!
Here is a long overdue testimonial for my trip to England.
How do I sum up a perfect detecting trip? Who would of thought a detecting trip for gold nuggets in Alaska would lead to a trip to England? Arkansas Gary, (your #1 visitor), who I had met detecting for gold nuggets in Alaska last summer e-mailed me this spring asking me if I wanted to meet him in England for some detecting. Gary's enthusiasm about your detecting adventures really got me excited. I could hardly sleep just thinking about the opportunity and even had less sleep after I found out that I was able to make the trip. I would like to inform everyone that this is a real genuine detecting trip. All I had to do was show up at the airport and you did the rest. I was driven from the airport to my top-notch accommodations allowed to unpack very quickly and then driven directly out to the historic fields. I have never detected anywhere in my life that matched the historic level of your detecting land. How do you tell someone that you not only found your first gold coin but that I also found two others? One of the gold coins was even from the Celtic period. I was able to find buttons, hammered silver, milled silver, Roman coins and the coveted beehive thimble among a few hundred other finds. The history that I am able to hold in my hands and share with my wife and daughter because of this trip is incredible. Also, just as important as my finds was meeting you guys. What an incredible lady.... Please thank her for all of her hospitality in making us feel welcomed and at home and for preparing English foods for us to try. Anyway, for those thinking about this trip and just wish they had a little more assurance, I cannot recommend this trip enough. For those that love to detect this trip is for you. This trip is also for you if you are frugal or for those that seem to be getting older every year and find that they keep wishing they had gone on a trip like this. This trip would have been a fantastic value even if I found nothing. I for one thank you for the service you provide because if it was not for your inclusive trip and extensive research I would probably have never had the opportunity and resources to detect in such a beautiful place. You are always asking how you can make the trip better or more enjoyable. My recommendation is that you quit posting all of the new land you have added to your detecting area. It is very difficult after you see these posts to even think about work. Thanks for the adventure and I will see you again......Alaskan Todd....
Texas Mike & Alaskan George's visit (first guys ever to visit here)
Mike (kneeling) holds his first Roman coin find !!
For years I have dreamed of making
a detecting trip to England but didn't know how to make the dream come
true. Then a friend and I decided to take up Michelle's offer to travel
to the Colchester area to hunt . It was the perfect trip ! Perfect hosts
and the detecting was out of this world. We found coins, buttons, and
artefact from the Roman period to the present. Michelle has permission
on fields that will astound you with the amount of signals in them.
If you are like me and dream of detecting England but just don't know
how to go about it, take Michelle up on her offer...you will not be
I got a nice e-mail from 'Alaskan'George's first trip it reads:
George found that 'one off' rare Celtic gold on his second trip
Ed, Budd and Al the gold hunters !!
NJ Ed wrote this as he pinched my gold and is feeling guilty !!
In life as in detecting there
is no guarranties. I was very skeptical after
Boston Bud's Testimonial. Who in their right mind detects in a blizzard and says it's nice and fresh out here today, totally barking mad !!!
mad Yanks spent 2 weeks and it was a great detecting experience and
fun. Authentic British food .."spotted dick, scotch eggs, faggots"
."cup of rosie"
"up the apples
for a Richard"
etc. The accommodations are very comfortable
and the excellent cooking!Detected
every day, rain or shine (ice, sleet and snow too) as long as we liked
on huge fields. We quit when we could no longer see what we were digging.
An amazing number of targets in the fields. Lots of junk, plenty of
greenies, buttons and unknowns. You have to work and be lucky to get
the Romans, hammereds and gold and there are definitely no guarantees,
In summary, a fabulous vacation and detecting experience. Thanks Michelle
Budd did it again on his second trip and got a nice gold half Guinea
Beau and Bill
Boston Bill sent this great e-mail and it rained all week !!
Canadian Rod tells the story of the one that got away !!
Rod and Kevin's e-mail
Mac wrote a very nice testimonial of the guys trip, he gets an extra portion of 'Spotted Dick' on his next visit
I've wanted to write you for
some time now, to tell you how much Brent, Dave and I enjoyed out detecting
holiday with you..I could write a book about our stay and entitle it,
"Three Happy Canadians"...Everything was as good or better
than you have portrayed on your website.
Got a great e-mail in from Milwaukee Mike, even those I tried to feed him brussle sprouts !!
Dear Michele,Mark I have finally gotten off my cloud and came back to earth. You and your lovely wife were the best of hosts. When I was looking to come over to your lovely country I checked out some others tours but didn't like what they had to offer so I asked a friend and he gave me your web site .I watch your site for a couple of weeks before I wrote you and I am glad I did. I had a great time looking for all those roman coins .You guys made me feel at home and I didn't want to leave but all good things have to end, but I hope not for too long. I would like just one of the fields over here to detect like what you got. You cant put into words the finds and the friendship,.Roman is what I wanted and roman is what I got .People don't know what they are missing .I cant believe 2000 year old coins 5-6 inches down and so many fields to pick from . you are the best!!!!!! it has been 3 weeks now and it is all I talk about to my hunting buddy randy.. I will be coming back this fall if you will have me and hope randy too I take my hat off to you and your wife for opening your house to me.. I thank you again your new yank friend mike krieg ps anyone in my area wants to know about the trip give them my e-mail <say hi to Markie for me>
Arakansas Gary ( he been here so often now so we have adopted him !!)
Gary has been here a lot and made some seriously good finds, he knows the fileds like the back of his hand so mail him if you have any questions.I missed his Gold dance that NJ Ed taught him to do.
Here is a nice e-mail I got from him about his first trip:
Mark & Michelle,
Your Friend From Arkansas,
(where else in the world will someone boast that they ate a 'spotted dick' happily !!!!
Boston Beau's testimonial
Boston Beau and Will
It has been nearly two months (boy am I slow) since my wonderful trip the U.K. As a full-time U.S. Army Officer things have been a bit busy and the week I had in England was a wonderful distraction from what has been going on in other parts of the World. Not a day has passed that I have not thought of those incredible fields and "keepers" that are still there waiting for some lucky detectorist to put his/her coil over. The visit I had with both of you was all I could have hoped for and more: Hunt all day; clean-up some finds; fill you belly with great traditional foods; off to bed; and do it all again the next day!! WOW
If your into serious metal detecting, Michele's package is the best deal out there. Accommodations were very comfortable and I was amazed at how "at home" I was made to feel.Are these fields "hunted out", absolutely not!! but, it does take some serious work (and a little bit of luck) to put keepers in your pouch. I would not want it any other way. In addition, they are aggressively adding additional lands to his list of hunting opportunities. There will be great find opportunities for years to come. In closing, the visit I had was all I could have hoped for and more. Thanks again for a most enjoyable experience. As Arnold Schwarzenegger would say "I'LL BE BACK"
Best Regards, Beau
Beau J Freund Ph.D.
Californian Ron wrote:
Thank you for a nice two weeks of detecting. You were great hosts. Everything was as you said. Good detecting. Terrific meals. What really impressed me was all your fields were rolled. It would be hard to go back to detecting in stubble.