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Metal Detecting Stories from past participants

Tour members share metal detecting stories walking to the fields

My detecting trip with Roy was as perfect a trip, in every respect, as a trip could possibly be.

Each day Roy picked us up and drove us to the chosen site, stopping along the way at a supermarket for us to pick out our own sandwiches and drinks. Then we had a full day of detecting. I found 8 Roman bronze coins, 2 complete Roman fibulae (brooches), a Medieval bronze ring, several Medieval pot legs, a nice jeton, a hammered silver half penny, lots of unusual artifacts, and my first gold coin: a Spanish 1 escudo from the reign of Joanna and Charles I (the daughter and son of Ferdinand and Isabella), who ruled from 1515-1556. It was the find of a lifetime, and I will be forever grateful to Roy for facilitating its discovery. Within a very reasonable period of time, the coin and my other finds cleared the British export license process, and I now have them in my possession.

Needless to say, this will not be my only trip with Roy. I plan to go back as often as possible. I think the highest compliment I can pay Roy is that I would be eager to detect with Roy even if I hadn't found the gold coin!


I have been on several metal detecting tours with Roy and Mark. I have thoroughly enjoyed each trip. Roy is a legend with his expertise, experience and knowledge that both he and Mark share freely. The trips start with being picked up at LHR with other members of your group. Everybody has a separate motel room, but we all can eat breakfast and dinner together at the restaurant. The camaraderie and sharing of information, stories and good humor is special. Each day is a new field. I have found many Roman, English hammered and milled coins along with all types of Celtic, Roman, Saxon, Viking and English artifacts. Other people on our trips have found Celtic gold staters, Saxon silver coins, etc. I will be going again.6/19

Randy Lunn
Laguna Hills, California

This was my first detecting tour with Roy and based on the fun and excitement that I had it certainly won't be my last. We landed at the airport in the morning and were in the field that afternoon for a few hours of detecting. It was the start of many fine days in the field finding coins, relics and artifacts. I detected once before in England and because of my lack of knowledge was disappointed in my finds. Roy takes all the guesswork out and takes you to those areas that are very productive. He also handles all the export licenses and shipping of your finds. All you have to do is go out and detect to your hearts content. Some of my finds included Roman coins of various types, up to nine hammered coins, jettons, lead tokens, including a "Boy Bishop" token, a nice 1856 silver Victoria shilling, a King Edward half crown, and quite a assortment of buckles, lead spindle whorls, etc. I think some of my better finds were a Roman brooch and gaming piece found in the same field. On our last day out after finding some hammered and copper coins I was lucky enough to find a very intricate Viking stirrup mount. What a way to end your last day detecting. All the people we met were kind and gracious and pleased that we were having such a great time in their country. I am making plans for this upcoming year and can't wait. Since I've talked about the amount of fun that I had on this last trip I may have some friends come along on my next one. Sincerely,

William D. Oxendine
Flagstaff, AZ

I've been on several trips with Roy and Mark. My experience has always been nothing short of great. You do not have to be an expert detectorist because Mark and Roy are there to give you expert advice. The trip is extremely well organized right down to the accommodations and transportation. They have extensive knowledge to help identify finds. They always provide new fields to detect that are known to contain old artifacts. I would recommend this tour for the novice as well as the experienced detectorist.


This was my 7th tour to England. I've been on all the others and it's too bad I didn't discover this tour in the beginning. It is by far the best I've ever experienced. The group is small, very friendly, with bend over backwards personal service. I've never before been on any kind of trip where everyone tried so hard to make every day a pleasure.The accommodations and the food were great. The fields were prepared to pristine conditions, which enabled me to make more and better finds than ever before. In fact, I was overwhelmed by the number and quality of items I found. I plan to go back as often as possible and would not consider going on any other tour after experiencing Roy's program.

Joe W. Brown

Just wanted to drop a few lines to let you know what a great time I had on my trip with you. By far, of the two others offering these kinds of trips, your's is far and away the best. Your promptness in picking is up in the morning and bringing us back at night was on the money. The fields were many and huge. Thank you for a wonderful 10 days of which I'll undoubtedly be back for many more. Regards,

Jim Cianelli
Brooklyn, NY

My detecting trip with Roy,was nothing but first class all around.Great accomadations,great food and most of all a super great guy as a guide with the best possible fields to hunt. My first day alone, I found 2 hammered coins, with 10 more to come in the followings days. I also found 3 roman coins, a few early 1900,s milled silver, and a mint 1858 shilling. Roys knowledge, along with his great detecting background was first class all the way. I would and have recomended this trip to every detectorist that wants to hunt England. I,m definitly going back every year. Roy himself is one of the kindest, nicest guys i'v met. Hats off to Roy and his great tour..

Rod Porter

Dear Roy  What a wonderful metal detecting adventure. The anticipation when digging a "good signal" and others around you are recovering Celtic, Roman, Viking and Medieval coins gets the adrenalin pumping. It is almost anticlimactic to find the coin or relic even though it will be treasured. This trip far exceeded  my expectations and your representations. I highly recommend your England Metal Detecting Adventure to all detectorist who want the thrill of finding their oldest coin and oldest relic on the same trip, just as I did. Have a great day

Jim Bryan
Topeka, Kansas

My sons and I have detected every year with Roy since he started his tours. Detecting in England is the highlight of the year for us. Two of my sons have found gold coins plus many other coins and artifacts. I would recommend his tours to everyone, families included.

Rochester, Minnesota

I had NEVER metal detected. Roy selected a site and my first coin was a Roman silver Siliqua of Emperor, Constantius II (337-361 A.D.). That discovery has forever re-arranged my priority list of the most exciting events in my life. I am very excited about returning to Roy's to detect.

Tod Aldrich
Westcliffe, Colorado

I have been detecting since 1970, all over the U.S.-Oregon to Florida, Massachusetts to California. I thought I had experienced the best in metal detecting until I went to London and detected in 1984. I really enjoyed that, and then I was introduced to Roy and became interested in Roman coins and artifacts. Roy knows where to go because he is a student of history and has researched these areas. I have returned to detect several times and I am looking forward to my next trip over.

Anoka, Minnesota

"The first time I ever used a metal detector was on a England Detecting Adventure. Roy was very helpful and took us to farm fields over looking the North Sea. The first day was slow for me as I learned to use my equipment but the results for the trip were many roman coins, hammered silver English coins and artifacts from all the ages. It was so exciting I returned the following year and was even more successful. I am hooked now and will return to detect with Roy in the future."

Lakeville, MN

An England Treasure Story

As my quest and goals for finding older and different treasures grew, I started researching where and how to treasure hunt for relics and coins that would take my treasure hunting to new levels. That's when my research lead me to the England Detecting Adventure Tour. I was extremely excited to find that it was possible to go to England to treasure hunt for coins and relics from so many time periods of civilizations, spanning over 2000 years.

Tour members share the days finds and stories as they enjoy their dinner

So I saved up some money and made my deposit. While I was waiting for the tour date to arrive I researched the history of the Celtic, Roman, & middle ages time periods and their peoples, on the internet. My mind was day dreaming of King Richard and the knights of the round table, Robin Hood, and Roman solders. I became increasingly excited to know it was possible for me to find relics and coins that were not only older than what I was finding in the U.S. but had such incredible history behind them. The day finally arrived and I was on the big jet airliner, on my way to what turned out to be the most exciting treasure hunting adventure of my life!

The morning arrived for the first day of treasure hunting. The five of us loaded up the van and Roy drove us to the farmers fields where we would be detecting. The fields had just recently been plowed and rowed which made for smooth walking on the fresh, moist soil. It was perfect for detecting. I still remember the thrill of finding my first English relic, which turned out to be a medieval chest/casket key. As I held it in my hand my mind raced with thoughts. Who was the person that lost this key hundreds of years ago? What did they look like? What was their life like? And what treasures or possessions would this key have unlocked for them at the time? That day, I also found my first English silver hammered coin, which Roy looked up in the book for me. It had a hammered image of King Henry the VI on it! It was hammer stamped during his reign 1422-1461 AD. I also found some other relics that day including a finger thimble, some pewter buttons and a crotal bell. This was just the beginning. Each day more coins and relics where found by myself and the other tour members. Roy would identify the items for us. It was great fun to do "show and tell" of the treasures we found each night at dinner time. I look forward to returning and would encourage adventurous treasure hunters of all ages to experience the thrill of this England Detecting Tour.

Dakota T. Ranger

It just doesn't get any better! There are not words to describe detecting in England. With Roy you'll have truly a rewarding and meaningful experience. My first Roman coin was a Constantine the Great (circa 300 A.D.) in beautiful condition. My first gold coin ever was from a small county park-a Queen Anne guinea, 1710. I was overwhelmed--and that was only the beginning!

Northfield, Minnesota

Our Trip to England

A recently adopted tradition of traveling to England has become an annual event for our family. My name is Peter Macken. Along with mother, father and 3 siblings, I live in Rochester Minnesota. I am currently a junior in high school. My father, Tim Macken, discovered the England Detecting Adventure as a member of the Zumbro Valley Treasure Hunters Club in Rochester. Being very interested in Metal Detecting, he decided to try the England Detecting Adventure metal detecting tour of east central England. The allurement of finding the unknown, especially anything older than the early 1800's or anything gold was enough to make my dad interested. His first trip was in 1994 with three other members from the metal detecting club. This first England trip was a major success. Dad returned with more interesting items than imaginable. He had found, bronze Roman coins, silver Roman coins, silver hammered coins from the 12 and 13 hundreds and numerous artifacts ranging from roman broaches to lead musket balls. Roy his detecting guide, who led the tour, was instrumental in guiding the group to all the "right spots" Roy has a lease from certain farmers in the area to metal detect in previously plowed and harvested fields. Since my dad went in the fall, most of these fields were recently plowed, bringing new and undiscovered treasures to the surface. Also on the tour, Roy took the group to detect in the London area in the Thames River. Unlike usual metal detecting, the hunters dug a hole in the "muck" while the tide was out and began sifting through the mud with their detectors. Many items were visually found that weren't metal, including clay pipes and old shoes. Some of the metal objects found included a cannon ball, coins, some horseshoes, a gigantic padlock and a rare pilgrim badge. Returning home the whole family was mystified by the many interesting treasures found. After this first trip, he was hooked!

For the next four years dad continued to travel annually with the England Detecting Adventure to metal detect. Every year bringing back more and more interesting things to show the family, but sorry to say, nothing gold. finding a gold coin soon became an endless quest. Twice, upon returning dad told us how the guy detecting right next to him found a gold coin, but never dad.

It wasn't until the fall of 1998, being fifteen years old, that my father suggested that I come with him. I have always been interested in metal detecting and have my own metal detector. I couldn't wait to get there! Dad helped me get a passport and explained thoroughly what the trip would be like. I was excited, but a bit nervous. When the time came to get on the plane and head east, I was ready to go.

After eight hours in the air, it was nice to finally meet Roy after years of stories. This first trip for me was very successful and fun. We found a large number of Roman and old English coins. The best coin that I found was a Saxon Skeet that was rare. This coin was no bigger than my pinky fingernail! There was a gold Celtic Stater found by another member of our group. The coin was about the size of a nickel. Seeing gold made us even more anxious to come back the next year.

The next year, dad and I decided to go again in November. (1999) After landing in London-Gatwick airport, we traveled by car; it was about three hours to Stanhoe, a small farm town near the North Sea. Roy had arranged a cottage for the group. A few people from New England were in our group and stayed with my father and I. We started off detecting on the first day and found some coins to get us going. Roy, the guide, took us all out to a pub for dinner that night to help us become better acquainted with the other detectorists. It was that night that we first met George, Sunny, Gerry, and Tony who had already been there for five days before we got there. They were eager to show us some of the items they had found so far. They had quite a few hammered coins and Roman coins. It was hard to sleep that night; I was excited for the next day to come!

Throughout the next few days, Roy would pick up dad, me and the rest of the group and take us out to one of the many fields to metal detect on. The first days of the trip, the weather was good, but, for the later part, the weather was poor. It rained often and even hailed once. Even though the weather got worse, our spirits didn't. We continued to find intriguing and interesting objects. On the fifth day, we were dropped off at a field that was notorious for containing Saxon-era coins. I started off slow from the edge of the field, while my father and the rest of the group charged on ahead. Felling that I should catch up with the group, I started to head toward my dad when I got a faint, yet clear signal. I thought for sure that my dad or someone else from the group might have gone over the same ground, so I was a little skeptical, but I decided to dig it up anyway. The ground was soft, so the dirt came up easily, in clumps. I went over the hole to re-check for a signal, but there was none. I tried again, kicking the dirt before I swung the machine over it. The signal came back, so I decided I must have dug it up. I pinpointed the clump of dirt that it was in and crumbled it in my hand. I swung the machine over my hand and sure enough, it was in there. With prodding fingers I felt the shape of a small, round object about the size of an American half-dime. As I cleaned it off, I saw it was a coin and that it was a small one. I ran over to dad and showed him what I found. He took a close look and with a little more cleaning, the coin gave a gleam. It looks like GOLD! Roy, returning with our lunches, took a look at the coin and was astonished to find that yes, it was gold, and it was a coin that he had never seen before! We were all excited! That evening, while eating dinner at the pub, we all inspected the coin and tried to determine what exactly it was. Roy decided that we should take a trip to the Fitzwilliam Museum, which is part of the University of Cambridge. Roy called Mr. Sean Miller in the coin department and scheduled an appointment for the next day.

We drove for about two hours the next day, and arrived at the museum at noon. We were greeted by Mr. Miller and were taken to the coin room and locked! After an examination, Mr. Miller found a book containing French coins and we found a match. The only other coin found like mine was in a hoard. My coin is one of the three of its type that the museum knew of. The coin was identified as a Quentovic Tremissis minted in the year 640 AD in what is now Northern France even though this area would not be known as France for another 300 years. Mr. Miller then photographed the coin and entered it into the Museum's database. When we asked what he thought the value of the coin would be, he said that the Museum is not in a position to put a value on coins. Roy thought that if we were to put this coin on auction, with Christies, it could sell for somewhere between three and five thousand dollars. This coin can be seen along with other coins from the museum on the internet at this address:

Mr. Miller gave us a copy of my coin history from the database. It was a great experience.

The remaining part of the trip went smoothly, and the excitement stayed with us. Not only did we continue to detect, but Roy took us to Ely, where I bought some gifts for my brothers and sister back home and we toured a cathedral. My father and I can't wait for our next trip, this fall.

Overall, we were very happy with finally finding a gold coin! But... I kind of feel sorry for dad. After all those years of trying to find a gold coin, it was me who ended up finding it first.

Peter Macken

An artifact and coin found and brought to show fellow treasure hunters

England Detecting Adventure!
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