Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Wyman Leaves No Stone Unturned (So Far He's Found 300 Coins, a Jug and a Little Pewter Pot); THE ROCK STAR FORSAKES HIS GUITAR FOR A NOT-VERY-HEAVY METAL DETECTOR

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Wyman Leaves No Stone Unturned (So Far He's Found 300 Coins, a Jug and a Little Pewter Pot); THE ROCK STAR FORSAKES HIS GUITAR FOR A NOT-VERY-HEAVY METAL DETECTOR

Article excerpt

Byline: VALENTINE LOW

WHEN it comes to the recreational pursuits of famous rock-n'rollers, there is a traditional range of choices - throwing televisions from hotel windows, developing (and then trying to lose) expensive drug habits, hunting down groupies, and, ah, entertaining them.

But these days former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman likes nothing better than tramping through muddy fields with his trusty metal detector in search of buried treasure.

As he was worth an estimated [pounds sterling]25 million at last count, Wyman does not exactly need the money. He has, however, always been interested in history, and for him digging up medieval coins and ancient axeheads provides a fascinating insight into our island's past.

As he said when he took up the hobby: "Metal detecting is more interesting to me than the new Rolling Stones record."

Now he has written a book detailing longforgotten treasures which have been found in farmers' fields, footpaths and old railway cuttings over the years.

Bill Wyman's Treasure Islands, co-written with Richard Havers, is a catalogue of some of the thousands of artefacts - coins, jewellery, armour and eating and drinking vessels - which have been discovered.

They vary from the Roman silver dish found on the banks of the Tyne by a nine-year-old girl in 1735 to the Hoxne Hoard of 1992, when Eric Lewes stumbled across Roman coins worth [pounds sterling]1.75 million with his metal detector, the most valuable find of its kind in Britain.

Wyman, 68, developed an interest in archaeology after buying his 15th century Suffolk manor house in 1968.

"Some workmen repairing a water pipe found a 16th century jug. That kind of astounded me.

Then I was digging the roses in the rose garden one summer's day and saw a little pewter pot and thought, 'wow, there must be more things here.'" He started his own dig, got local archaeologists involved and bought his first metal detector in 1991.

"For me it was fascinating. …

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