A post medieval walking cane terminal which has been validated as the oldest discovered has been caringly restored by the blacksmith’s of West Country Blacksmiths, who are based on the edge of Exmoor in Somerset.
The piece was discovered by a registered ‘Mudlark’ based in the new forest, who metal detects in the mud of the Thames as a hobby. The piece was discovered deep in the mud of the Thames, which helped to protect the Copper Alley piece which still retains its original marking of IONE+PAYNE and the date of 1678. The finding was registered with the portable antiquities scheme at Winchester where it received full validation, before being returned to it finder and restored by West Country Blacksmiths.
After an extensive search for people with the skills to undertake such a delicate repair, it was by chance the ‘Mudlark’, who wish to remain unnamed at this time, read an article written about the team of blacksmith’s and metalworker’s at Allerford Forge by journalist Martin Hesp in the Western Morning News as part of current martins current series promoting local traditional trades in the West Country.
The finder is now contemplating what to do with his latest find and is considering relinquishing it to one of a number of museums in London who have expressed an interest in the piece.