Ampulla and Graffiti

In a previous piece on this blog, I noted similarities between the so-called “witch-marks” and other apotropaic signs found as graffiti in churches and old buildings, and symbols found on lead tokens recorded on the PAS database. In the course of my lugubrious browsing of the database during the current lockdown (I unfortunately find myself …more

Defence Against The Dark Arts

Last year in the run-up to Halloween, Lauren posted on this forum a variety of objects from the database which had a spooky connection. Included in this selection was a deliberately concealed clog, LANCUM-76D192, hidden in the walls of a building as protection against witchcraft and evil spirits. This practice of concealing footwear in the …more

Edward Defaced

With Hallowe’en just around the corner I thought it would be an appropriate time to share this spooky-looking coin. Someone has literally ‘punched out the lights’ on the kings face of this medieval coin, and made such a thorough job that they’ve managed to add two extra pellets on the reverse. There are many other …more

Token protection?

As some of you may know, for the past couple of years I have been engaged in a little project which has taken me around the churches of the Derbyshire Peak, the idea being to photograph in detail the alabaster tomb effigies that are unusually common in the region. My notion was to create a …more

Shakespearean Angels

Sophie has already posted on this blog about the wonderful gold Angel coin found in the Derbyshire Dales in 2018, (record DENO-C5A99E ) but I think it is worth returning to the subject, as the Angel has more tales to tell. The Angel was an iconic¬† coin, by Tudor times it sufficiently embedded in the …more

Meet the Volunteer: Meghan

Tell us about yourself I started volunteering for the Portable Antiquities Scheme in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire in October 2017, a few months after graduating with an MA Archaeology degree at Newcastle University. My undergraduate degree is also in archaeology, and both my dissertations involved looking at archaeology from the 20th century. Since graduating, my aim …more

Gold angel of Henry VII found in Derbyshire

This gold medieval angel of Henry VII was recently found by a detectorists near Ashbourne (DENO-C5A99E). Henry VII, also known as Henry Tudor, was born in 1457 at Pembroke Castle in Wales. He was the son of Margaret Beaufort, a descendent of John of Gaunt, and Edmund Tudor, half-brother to King Henry VI. His mother …more

Rare Cromford Dollars acquired by Derby Museums

A hoard of seven post-medieval silver coins that was discovered by a metal detectorist in 2016 has been acquired by Derby Museums (DENO-BBE206). The contents of the hoard include three Spanish-American 8 reales coins known as ‘dollars’ minted in 1801 and 1802, and four very worn British shillings from the late 17th to 18th century. …more

Meet the Finds Liaison Assistant: Phil Hughes

Tell us about yourself. I am a Finds Liaison Assistant for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, having started this role in December 2017. I am assisting Alastair Willis, the Finds Liaison Officer for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, for three days per week for six months on a placement as part of my doctoral research, being undertaken at the …more

Counterfeits, clippings and copies in Derbyshire

Derbyshire appears to have been a hotbed of coin counterfeiting in the past. Several counterfeit Roman denarii and 17th century half crowns and shillings have been discovered in the county and recorded with the PAS. Counterfeits were silver plated (e.g. DENO-DAAFF0), or made from base silver and disguised with a silver wash (e.g.¬†PUBLIC-F070C6). They can …more