Buried-Treasure Backyard

May 19, 2009 at 7:36 am | Posted in Finds | Leave a comment

gardening_spade_and_rake_4While gardening in her backyard, Jan Long has dug up hundreds of valuable antiques including a gold watch, a diamond ring, a Victorian corkscrew and ancient Roman coins. According to the Daily Mail, Long — who lives in Herefordshire, near the border between Great Britain and Wales — “unearths an antique … nearly every time she weeds her borders or tends her vegetable patch….

“The mother of three has also found more than a hundred coins — some of them Roman, and an Austrian Crown from 1780 — as well as brooches and medals in her 150ft long garden. Among the more bizarre are a plough, a gate and a wheelbarrow.

“Her unusual ‘crop’ began when she took up gardening six years ago after she and husband Dr Richard Long, 70, a retired university lecturer in Middle Eastern Studies, moved to the rural property near Ledbury….

“Jan, 57, said: ‘I decided I wanted to move one of the magnolia bushes to the other side of the garden. But when I was digging up the roots I suddenly started hitting something hard…. There were hundreds of bottles beneath the soil … lemonade bottles, blue vials, enamel bottles and all sorts, some of them are over 150 years old. That was just the start of it really, nearly everytime I’m out in the garden I make a new find.’ …

“As well as thousands of 19th century bottles, she has found hundreds of other tiny trinkets alongside a huge working plough. Her most recent discovery has been a treasure trove of coins, including Victorian pennies, an Austrian Crown dated 1780, a King Crown dated 1935 and an 1837 Canadian Bank Token…. Biddell and Webb auctioneers in Birmingham have valued some of the collection and say the main items such as the diamond ring and the watch could earn Jan several hundred pounds….

“Jan believes that he fact the house was built in the 15th century could go some way to explaining why there was so many unusual items: ‘My favourite item is a tiny wooden locket carved out of wood into a rose, which unusually opens from left to right and is so intricate and beautiful. I really have no idea to the total value but the monetary value is not that important to me. It is more the tales which can be woven around each item that I find fascinating. I’ve really loved discovering them all and am looking forward to what’s going to turn up next.'”

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