30th Dec 2018 - After spending a lazy Sunday morning with my fiancé Simone Hannah and 2 boys Cruze 8 and PJ 6, I decided to go for my last dig of the year.
I packed up the van with my 3 week old Minelab EQUINOX 800 and drove the 10miles to my new permission in Midlothian, Scotland which I had only been on once before on Christmas Eve and had found a lovely decorated spindle whorl on the only little bit of stubble that was nearby.
The rest of the fields either had things starting to grow or had been deep ploughed. Deep ploughed it was then!
After a few hours of stumbling about in the darkening afternoon sky I had a bag full of buttons/ buckles/ worn coins + various metal shapes, then at the edge of the second field I got a lovely solid signal ( Field 1- standard settings) so I dug down about 10 inches and pulled out a nice coloured bit of metal which I recognised as being old due to staring at metal detecting posts on Facebook since I started detecting nearly 3 years ago and most of my 33 years watching Time Team with my mum Loraine.
I put this straight in my pocket to save it being damaged by the other finds in my bag. No other finds were made so I headed home.
When I got home and washed the mud off under a tap I took pictures and posted them to various detecting pages on Facebook and the replies confirmed what I had been hoping... a hand guard from a weapon!
The general consensus was that it was an Iron age/Celtic quillion from a dagger due to it only being 5cm long, but after a trip to Macdonald Armouries in Edinburgh on the 10th January 2019 Swordsmith Paul Macdonald informed me that it is in fact from a sword and could be one of the earliest of its type ever found in Scotland!
I have returned to the field to search for the rest of the sword but no luck....yet.
I am hoping to get a copy of this quillion made before handing it in to Treasure Trove Dept. in the National museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. They are wanting to see it along with my spindle whorl.
I will then get a blade made to fit.
My best detecting find.... so far.
Padraig Henry – Scotland, UK