Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Stand by for the Much Wenlock Gold Rush of '24

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I've been prospecting in Shropshire.

Much Wenlock?

Yes, there are always women around the camp.

Exciting news from the Guardian:

A metal detectorist in Shropshire has unearthed England’s largest ever gold nugget worth £30,000 – despite turning up an hour late for the dig with a faulty metal detector.

Richard Brock, 67, travelled three and a half hours from his home in Somerset to join an organised expedition on farmland in the Shropshire Hills last May, and ended up arriving late. He also had problem with his metal detecting kit, and was forced to use an older machine that was not working properly. ...

But just 20 minutes later, Brock unearthed a huge 64.8g golden nugget buried about 13–15cm (5–6in) underground. The metal, which has been named Hiro’s Nugget, is now expected to fetch at least £30,000 at auction and is believed to be the biggest find of its kind on English soil.

My first thought was that this was probably in the Stiperstones, were a little silver was mined alongside the lead ore. 

My second thought was that there would now be a gold rush in those hills.

But the reality is rather different:

The nugget was found on a site near the village of Much Wenlock believed to have been an old track with railway lines running through, containing stone possibly distributed from Wales – an area known to be rich in gold.

It's all a bit vague, but it sounds as though the nugget was first unearthed in Wales rather than Shropshire,

1 comment:

Stan Collins said...

Silver was always associated with lead but until the 1850s it could not be separated. This led (NPI!) to a fascinating semi-scam in the middle of the last century.

Scrap-metal dealers would approach a church and offer to replace the leaking lead roof at their own expense and they would dispose of the old lead. Word went round when they were found to do a good job and more and more churches asked for help but this was only given to pre-1850 churches.

The payoff for the scrap metal dealers was that every 100 tons of the old lead would yield about 1 ton of silver!