John unearths treasure

TREASURE hunters have uncovered a significant haul in Pinchbeck, and hope to be on the verge of an important discovery that could throw light on centuries of hidden history.

Metal detectorist John Lyon discovered a staggering 44 coins in one small area of farmland north of the River Glen, as well as a scattering of pottery and domestic items that date back to the 13th century.

The findings have sparked a ripple of excitement and a preliminary report on the site by Allen Archaeology describes it as "tantalising" and "enigmatic".

Allen's investigations centred on an exposed stone wall in the field, which appears to belong to an expensive, well-built house from the 13th to 15th century.

It speculates that it could have belonged to Humphrey de Bohun, the Earl of Hereford and Essex, who was granted rights for a market and fair at his Pinchbeck manor by King Edward II in 1318.

The high number of coins could also point to an ecclesiastical past.

A further excavation will take place next May and Mr Lyon and a team of enthusiasts want the people of Pinchbeck to be able to get their hands dirty and help uncover the mystery sparked by the exciting finds.

Mr Lyon, who found his first coin on the field five years ago, said: "We could get the Time Team in but then the locals take a back seat.

"That's not what we're about, we want to involve the community in an exciting project."

The excavation could uncover details about the district's trading past, life in the Middle Ages and might shed light on Civil War confrontations.

Land owner Ivan Healey has given permission for the investigation and the project has been aided by Donington archaeologist Peter Lorimer.

He said: "So far it is all open to interpretation but it is very


"We have certainly got substantial medieval remains and the amount of coins found for one field is just insane.

"This is certainly important to the county and definitely important for the history of the Pinchbeck and Spalding area."

The earliest coins unearthed are two Short Crosses of King John and Henry III while a piece of polychrome Delft tile, a

Dutch import, offers a priceless glimpse of a high status


John says he will donate all of his findings back to the village and hopes that a permanent home can be found for them in a museum.

At the moment the findings are all catalogued and kept in his boardroom at MJL Skipmaster, in Bourne Road, Pode Hole, which has been transformed into a makeshift museum.

nFor details on the findings so far, what they may mean for the history of the area and the development of the project see next week's Lincolnshire Free Press.