Finds at Hadleigh Farm

Finds from the Mesolithic, Middle Paleolithic (Neanderthal), and Roman Eras

The following information was sent in by amateur archaeologist and metal detectorist, David Carr.  The last twelve photographs in the gallery are unattributed, and I throw it open to the ‘hive mind’, as I know there is quite a lot of interest and expertise out there! [Pamela J. Bird-Gaines, Editor]. The implications of the hypocaust fragment are particularly interesting, as it would elevate the ‘fortlet’ to the status of a Villa or Farmstead./content/browse-articles/streets-and-roads/roman_roads_in_benfleet_around_250_ad


‘I have permission for metal detecting at Hadleigh farm, and in 2022 I found a silver Roman ring about 100 yards from the Roman fortlet. The ring has two snake heads, and the British museum said it was 100-200 AD and would have belonged to a high status roman. In classical times the snakes represented ‘re- birth’ or health. A kind of good luck ring of its time I suppose.  Some call them Salus rings. Klimt painted Salus, the Roman Goddess. The ring was declared treasure by the Coroner back in March, and Southend Museum are interested in acquiring it.

My friend Mark found pieces of a Roman horse phalera, (parts of a horse harness).

Also, which is interesting, notice the lines on one of the pieces of pottery. This is a piece of an under floor heating tile, (part of a hypocaust, an underfloor Roman heating system, where hot air was directed in the hollow space under a building). A Roman fortlet would not have this luxury. Was the fortlet a wealthy farmstead, or villa instead? I have other pieces that are possibly Roman, and weights, musket balls, bag seals, a medieval ring, buckles, buttons, bullets, tails of mortar bombs and various other pieces of metal, which my wife loves having around the house.

In 2018 a friend and I started finding Mesolithic stone tools on those fields by the fortlet.  We found over 2000, including four complete axes, and some platform cores (they were tiny razor sharp blades to put down side of stick to make harpoons for fishing) Some Neandathal finds too. The British Museum has verified these finds. I have found other Roman bits, – parts of a fibula [Editor, from an Auroch?] including a Roman spring’.


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