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A right royal find in Epsom

PUBLISHED: 10:16 20 July 2009 | UPDATED: 16:08 20 February 2013

Metal detectorist Mark Davison's Epsom horse boss find

Metal detectorist Mark Davison's Epsom horse boss find

Surrey Life can exclusively reveal that one of the more exciting finds of the year so far is that of a spectacular gilded 17th century horse harness boss in Epsom.

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine July 2009

Surrey Life can exclusively reveal that one of the more exciting finds of the year so far is that of a spectacular gilded 17th century horse harness boss in Epsom.

Thought to have fallen from a horse of Charles II, this decorative equine piece was discovered by amateur metal detectorist Mark Davison in the vicinity of The Durdans on Chalk Lane.

"It was a great discovery," says Mark, who lives in Reigate. "At first, I thought it was an upturned ashtray as there was no sign of the gold. But when I turned it over, it took my breath away. It's not gold but instead gilded bronze.

"I was there with members of the East Surrey Research and Recovery metal detecting group, who at first thought it to be Victorian until a closer inspection revealed a Stuart coat of arms that shows it to be from the 17th century. I immediately reported it to Surrey finds liaison officer, David Williams, and he confirmed the find."

It is recorded in the diaries of Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn - both noted diarists - that Charles II visited The Durdans in 1662, probably for a banquet, and then returned again to the area two years later.

"In the future, I hope to be able to exhibit the horse boss in the Bourne Hall Museum in Ewell, where curator Jeremy Hart has already expressed an interest," adds Mark. "It would be great to share this piece of history with the public."

Find out more about metal detecting and archaeology in Surrey
Discover what is going on in Surrey for this year's Festival of British Archaeology
Visit a few Surrey sites with particular archaeological interest

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