Leicester

Civil War cannon ball and toe bones up for auction

Cannon ball auction toe bones Lutterworth Image copyright Hansons Auctioneers
Image caption The cannon ball, human toe bones and 17th Century artefacts will be sold at auction

Human toe bones and a cannon ball found in a vegetable patch and believed to have been used in the English Civil War are set to go to auction.

The iron cannon ball could have been fired in the decisive Battle of Naseby, Derbyshire-based auctioneers Hansons said.

Other finds include 17th Century belt buckles, bottle seals and rifle flints.

The items were discovered in gardens around Lutterworth, Leicestershire, over the last 40 years.

The Battle of Naseby

Image copyright Hulton Archive
Image caption Charles I (right) during the Battle of Naseby
  • The battle took place on a field near Naseby, Northamptonshire, on 14 June 1645
  • 'Cavalier' Royalist forces loyal to King Charles I suffered a heavy and decisive defeat at the hands of 'Roundhead' Parliamentarians, led by Sir Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell
  • Soldiers from the New Model Army - Britain's first regular red-coated soldiers and a precursor of the British Army - were part of the victorious fighters
  • Within a year of the battle the war was over, with Parliament's right to a permanent role in government firmly established

Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons, said it is "extraordinary" for so many items from the period to have been found in residents' gardens.

"We understand [the cannon ball] was discovered by someone clearing their vegetable patch," he said.

"The iron cannon ball measures five inches in diameter and it's certainly a heavy weight. It was found quite a depth underground.

"It's amazing what objects can be found in a garden."

Mr Hanson added the cannon ball was confirmed by Leicestershire Museums and Art Gallery as being similar to ones found nearby in Naseby, Northamptonshire.

The items are set to be auctioned on 25 July, with the cannon ball given a guide price of between £50 and £100.

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