On the first of July, Nigel Howe and Ian Curtis joined the children of the school at one of their regular services in the church. This gave Nigel the opportunity to present the school with a case containing a collection of sixteen Roman coins and other artefacts, all of which he had found in the parish. Many of the coins are in very good condition and will give children the chance to handle material that they could only otherwise read about. It also provides them with a direct link to the history of the village.
The headteacher, Mrs Milton, also formally received the contribution from the History Association of £400 for books to support the history curriculum. The money has already been spent on an exciting – and colourful – set of books that range from the Romans to the Victorians.
In recent weeks, working on the behalf of Titchmarsh History Association, Nigel Howe and Ray Garside have been scouring the Church Field armed with metal detectors. In particular, they have been looking for evidence of the Pickering’s manor house that we suspect was located there. On 9th June they returned to the village to show what they had found. And what a treasure trove it turned out to be!
There was a total of over two hundred items, ranging from the Roman period through to the twentieth century. The horde includes several coins among which two date from the reign of Charles I. The personal belongings include a number of iron pattens that were fixed to shoes for walking in icy or muddy conditions; belt buckles; and small pieces of jewellery. Among the domestic artefacts are keys: lock escutcheons; thimbles; and iron pot legs. There are also several musket balls of a variety of sizes. The later period is represented by such things as a Land Army badge and a number of small toys, including a potato gun. It is quite possible that the owner of this last item still lives in the village.
Sadly, our two intrepid detectives did not uncover anything that definitively proves the existence on the site of the manor house itself.