Forum home The potting shed

Buried treasure

My current garden has only been a garden for about 40 years, before that it was an orchard, before that it was sheep pasture and before that it was the terminal moraine of an ice age glacier.

Other gardens I've had have been created by gardeners long before I came, and some have left things behind by the earlier gardeners and their families - amongst the objects I've dug up have been several stems and bowls of old clay pipes, some of them beautifully decorated.  I've found old coins, war medals, earthenware ink bottles, Arts & Crafts decorative tiles and a broken Bellarmine jug.

Have you found buried treasure that's given you a glimpse of the life of your garden's previous gardeners?

“I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh



  • Lupin 1Lupin 1 Posts: 8,916

    Haven't found any treasure but keep finding bits of old blue & white pottery. Think maybe founders liked breaking crockery during fun night outside. image

  • I found a roof.  Seriously. Our Victorian house was renovated by cowboy builders who decided to bury the entire old roof instead of paying for proper removal.  As soon as I started digging I discovered the horrible, asbestos-laden truth.  Suffice it to say it was the financial reverse of finding buried treasure image

  • 4thPanda4thPanda Posts: 4,145

    I discovered in Spring the bulbs the previous owner left, which was nice. image

    On the flip side, I also discovered the rubble and whole paving slabs buried in the bed I was enlarging. image I also have a buried pond that I have to discover in the middle of the lawn (I know the pond is there, but also know the work involved in excavating it image)

    I do realise that this is not as bad as Macavity's find though. . . . 

  • Just remembered,though, on a more positive note... As I was digging out the footings for my new pond which is a lot nearer the house than the roof fiasco, I found an old handmade footpath that had been lovingly constructed a century ago out of thousands of tiny mortared pebbles but had somehow been buried and turfed over.  It was such a lovely discovery that I changed my design plan to incorporate it.

  • MrsGardenMrsGarden Posts: 3,951

    We are told that ours and some of the neighbours gardens are built over an air raid shelter. Not sure if its still there under the tree roots (! ?) or just 'on the site of' where it would have been.

  • Macavity - that really is Buried Treasure - how lovely image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,267

    Can't say my back garden has such a history. It's a terraced house, built around 1920 or shortly after.

    It had a garage base covering a third until I called in for skips and dug it up. You would not believe what people used as hard core, I found the weights from old window frames, tiles from old fire surrounds and half expected to dig up the iron frame from a four poster bed. Worms still push tiles up to the surface.

     There was a place though,in a wood nearby,where my brother's, when we were children would dig up bottles with marbles in and clay pipes, there was probably other stuff they dug up but I remember these because they would sell them to a local shop.

    There are treasures round these parts though, I remember an old pub being demolished to make room for new inner city buildings, the site turned into an archological dig for months.

  • In my own garden, I have found only some animal bones and a mysterious long rusty wire that is stuck to something somewhere. I pull it every time I dig part of it out but have no idea what it is?

    Much more interesting, my sister found an old Anderson shelter in her garden. The shelter was built on top of the old coal cellar which no one knew existed. It still had coal in it mixed with old Victorian scraps - the whole thing now makes a good garden shed for them.

  • I've actually buried treasure rather than uncover it!  Somewhere in the mortar used to build a circular raised bed is a gold ring which I didn't notice was missing until it was rather too late.  Luckily the OH wasn't too upset and bought me another. image

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 4,030

    We have removed over 30 tons of 'treasure' from this garden over the last 18 years and still we find stuff being pushed up by the moles.

    So how about an old push chair type pram (sans enfant), upright and buried in rubbish. Never did find the original ground level in that bit.

    Best find is an old stone pig trough.


    And a path made of field stones.



Sign In or Register to comment.