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We took the picture at a rally for Polish detectorists near Luton. It was Crown Estate land so we wondered if the Queen had signed a finds agreement giving away all non-treasure items. It was never clarified, but “Geoman” who has experience of detecting on Crown land, has just raised a bigger issue: “All finds belong to the Crown Estates and it has to be agreed where these are to be deposited which is usually the local Museum via the FLO.” So did that happen at Luton? If so, can someone tell us which museum all the finds were sent to? Or did some of those jolly Polish rallynauts commit High Treason?


PS, why “High Treason”? Well, it was High Treason in 1671 when people tried to steal the Crown Jewels. One hid St Edward’s Crown under his coat and another stuffed the Sovereign’s Orb down his trousers, behaviour that’s not unknown today. Why else would one of the few words detectorists have contributed to the language of Shakespeare be “wellying”, the illegal concealment of artefacts in one’s boots? 

Whether there was wellying at Luton or just plain pocketing-without-permission or neither is unclear, but Geoman’s remark does make one wonder – and depriving the Sovereign of shiny stuff is a step up from mere theft. Personally, I think ALL failure to report finds for the benefit of the rest of the country is an act of moral high treason. But that’s just me. The thousands who do exactly that every week are immune from prosecution or censure so don’t give a rats.


More Heritage Action views on metal detecting and artefact collecting



January 2013

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