I promised that I would show you some of the things which have been found on the farm within easy distance of our beck - thus suggesting that they were dropped by people over the ages who were using the beck as a path for getting from A to B (this is obviously the lowest point and therefore the most sensible place to walk).
I am never sure which order the photographs are going to come up in, but if I just give you a description of each one, they are all so different that they will be easy to identify anyway.
The first, and definitely the most exciting, is this Neolithic stone
polished axe, circa 3000 BC most likely for cutting trees. The source of the stone has not been determined but the museum which
identified the axe head said that the nearest stone like this was in the Langdale Pikes in the Lake District, which is a good seventy miles away from here. There is a suggestion that it would have been much bigger and would have been strapped to a wooden handle and that it may have been thrown away because it had become too small. But I find it fits beautifully into the hand, so I doubt that. I like to think that when my father in law found it after he had ploughed the field, his was the first hand to touch it after that Neolithic Man.
The round lead whorl weight is a common find round here - we find them all the time. I have seen these still being used in the High Atlas mountains of Morocco and in the Taurus mountains of Turkey. They weigh down the wool as someone spins.
The horse bells date from the seventeenth century to Victorian times and would have been used for decorative purposes on horses working in the fields.
The clay pipe is another common find, but this one is interesting because it has a heart on the side. I thought it was probably a love token to somebody's sweetheart, but there is a good clay pipe site on the internet and I find that the heart is a symbol of one of the early Farmworkers' Trade Unions.
The tiny flint knife was found in the front garden of my house where my son now lives (which is itself on the edge of the beck). It has a very sharp edge and these are often found around our village. There is a 'but' though as all the walls surrounding the cottages here are dry stone walls, so the knife could have come in with a load of stone from somewhere else.
The coin, which is very corroded and difficult to see properly is most likely George IV judging from the hairstyle of the monarch.
Finally the carnelian necklace. The farmer bought me the silver chain but the fob on it was found near to the beck in one of our fields. It is silver and is hallmarked 1826 and the stone is a carnelian. It was most likely from a watch chain. There is a space at the back where there could have been a compass or even a lock of hair, but whatever was there has rotted away.
I often wonder what else lies there waiting to be discovered - valuable or not. There is just something exciting in picking up an object that was dropped all that time ago isn't there?