Today is Plough Monday, traditionally the start of the agricultural year and the day when ploughs are taken back to the fields after the winter break.

In many parishes in the Midlands and East of England, a plough blessed in the church on the preceding Sunday would be paraded through the streets, collecting donations from householders. Those who refused would find their gardens ploughed over!

The Whittlesey Plough – Wikimedia Commons by Simon Garbutt

Sadly these days, the occasion is probably more celebrated by metal detectorists, keen to hoover up the shinies from the freshly ploughed fields.