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Metal detecting around Ayton

For many years a local metal detectorist has been detecting in the fields around Ayton. Many of the finds have gone to the National Museum of Scotland where they have been retained due to their importance. Many others have been returned and retained and we are fortunate that he has supplied these photographs for the society's website so that they can be shared.

Household Section

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Buckles

Copper alloy buckles dating from 1250 – 1720. The buckles on the bottom row are the oldest.

Candle snuffers

The smaller one has been flattened and may have had a chain attached to the top.

18th century

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Finger rings

18th century rings made of copper alloy 

Cricket badge

Cricket badge or buckle plate made of pressed copper alloy, probably early 1900s

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Clay pipes

Clay pipe bowls and stems. The pipe bowls date from around 1650 - 1710 and the stems are from later pipes.

The enlarged photo below shows two of the bowls which carry makers marks on the heel. These have not been identified.

Clasps & buckle chape

Made of copper alloy.

Napoleonic period

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Pocket watch keys

18th - 19th century

Silver dental plate

18th century

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Net weights

Lead net weights of unknown date. Found some distance from the river, it is possible they were used on long nets for poaching rabbits, partridges and hares as well as on fish nets. The largest of the weights is around three inches long.

Love tokens

Silver love tokens.  These love tokens have all been made from worn William III sixpences, late 17thC. Love tokens were given by a young man to the girl of his choice to demonstrate his affection for her. If the young woman kept the token, it meant she returned his affection. If not, she threw it away.
The coin in the bottom of the picture is a William III sixpence of the type which would have been used for bending into a love token

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Lead bale or bag seals

Top row: Russian flax seals. Late 1700 dates.
Middle row, from left

  • Russian, Sevastopol seal.

  • Russian, Narva Flax seal.

  • Polish flour bag seal.

  • Polish flour bag seal Danzig.

Bottom row, from left

  • French Customs seal, Lorient.

  • Russian Archangel bale seal dated 1849.

Church token

Front and rear of a lead church token dated 1771 and with AC initials probably refers to Ayton Church.

Mr AD most likely refers to the Rev Alexander Dickson of Wallace Green Church in Berwick who preached in Ayton at the baptism of a child of a member of his Burgher congregation. A large company heard him and as a result a congregation was set up in 1771 by the Presbytery of Kelso. In 1777 the Edinburgh Burgher Presbytery agreed to a request from Ayton to provide sermons and this was done. A church with seating for 295 had been erected by 1782, more or less contemporaneously with Springbank Antiburgher Church.

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Spindle whorls

Lead spindle whorls which would have been fitted onto the bottom of a stick and used to spin wool. Spindle whorls have been in use for centuries but these ones are probably late medieval in date.

Barrel tap handles

Two barrel tap handles from beer barrels. 18th/19th century.

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Bottle tops

Glass bottle tops dating from the late 1600s to 1750

Bronze key

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Racing club badges

Racing club badges from Kempton Park 1927 and Lothians racing club 1935.

Buttons Section

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Buttons

Two North British Railway buttons, 19th C.

Buttons

Small decorated buttons from the 18th - 19th C

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Buttons

Buttons made of Tombac (copper and zinc). Mainly 18th C.

Eyemouth and Ayton Volunteers buttons, The Ayton button dates 1798-1801 . The other two buttons are Royal Artillery 1795 and a Naval button. Napoleonic period.

Volunteer buttons

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Buttons

Selection of military buttons

Buttons

Top: Livery button for the Bishop of Kilmore (Ireland) 1876 - 94.

Middle row: Two lots of unidentified livery buttons.

Bottom row: Two livery buttons, the one on the left is for a family named Hopper, The one on the right is for Lord Elphinstone, Tyninghame.

It’s quite likely these men were guests at Ayton Castle and the buttons will have been lost by their servants

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Buttons

Front and back of three livery buttons possibly originating from Ayton Castle. They carry the Mitchell Innes crest – a hand holding a garland of laurel and motto Deo Favente (with Gods favour).
The back mark on the button dates it to 1875. William Mitchell Innes died in 1860 so presumably the buttons would have been used or made for his son Alexander.

Buttons

Lead/pewter buttons dating to the 1600s.

Military Section

Musket items

Musket Flint, Bayonet Frog, Base of brush used for cleaning musket vent hole of black powder. Napoleonic period.

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Lead musket and pistol shot

dated between 1550 and 1850

Musket flints

Musket flints which would have been used with flintlock weapons between 1600 - 1900.

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Chape

Small sword or rapier chape (the fitting on the base of a sword or knife sheath)

17 - 18th Century.

(identified by the National Museum of Scotland)

Coins Section

Copper coins

Worn copper coins from the last four hundred years. They include bawbees, turners and bodles which are all Scottish coins from the reign of Charles I and Charles II (1625 -1685). Bawbees were sixpences and turners or bodles were two pence.
Georgian copper half pennies are the next common coin finds from 1714 - 1820.

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Coins

Georgian copper coins

Milled silver coins

Top: George III Shilling and Victoria Shilling.
Middle: George III Sixpence and Victoria Sixpence.
Bottom: Queen Anne Fourpence and William IV Fourpence.

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obverse

reverse

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obverse

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Scottish coins

Scottish turners and bodles of Charles II and William II.
Top row: Scottish turners/ twopences 1663.
Bottom row: William II bodle 1695, Charles II bodle 1677-79 and a William and Mary bodle 1691-94.
Between 1663 and 1668 the Scottish mint issued over twenty three million turners making these little coins the most common coin found along with turners of Charles I. They are very rarely in good condition due to being very worn through a long circulation period or badly corroded by acidic soil conditions.

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Coin weight

Bronze coin weight for 21 shillings which = 1 guinea. Dated 1765.

Coin weights are weights which were designed to weigh coins in order to assure their quality

Coins Section

Copper coins

Worn copper coins from the last four hundred years. They include bawbees, turners and bodles which are all Scottish coins from the reign of Charles I and Charles II (1625 -1685). Bawbees were sixpences and turners or bodles were two pence.
Georgian copper half pennies are the next common coin finds from 1714 - 1820.

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Coins

Georgian copper coins

Milled silver coins

Top: George III Shilling and Victoria Shilling.
Middle: George III Sixpence and Victoria Sixpence.
Bottom: Queen Anne Fourpence and William IV Fourpence.

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24_edited.jpg

obverse

reverse

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obverse

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Scottish coins

Scottish turners and bodles of Charles II and William II.
Top row: Scottish turners/ twopences 1663.
Bottom row: William II bodle 1695, Charles II bodle 1677-79 and a William and Mary bodle 1691-94.
Between 1663 and 1668 the Scottish mint issued over twenty three million turners making these little coins the most common coin found along with turners of Charles I. They are very rarely in good condition due to being very worn through a long circulation period or badly corroded by acidic soil conditions.

reverse

Coin weight

Bronze coin weight for 21 shillings which = 1 guinea. Dated 1765.

Coin weights are weights which were designed to weigh coins in order to assure their quality

Finds by other people

Mitchell-Innes livery button

Found in field at the top of Tower Road in August 2022 by Paul Smart while out walking.

Ayton Volunteers button.

Found in field alongside A1 to north west of Ayton Village in August 2022 by Mark Stewart, metal detectorist. 17mm (11/16") diameter.

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Military Uniform button

Believed to be 1871-1901. Rampant lion and unicorn with Queen Victoria's crown. Found in the garden of Christies in Main St Ayton by Tom Cooksey April 2022. 24.5 mm diameter.

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