Essex river detectorists find 400-year-old gun in search on former battle site

A 400-year-old gun and other historical artefacts have been found in the River Colne near Colchester by river detectorists.

The River Hunters team – who host a show on Sky History – made the discovery while they were in the town Colchester, one of the most important places in Essex history.

The former Roman capital was the site of The Colchester Siege, a battle in the 1600s during the Second English Civil War.

During the siege, Royalists loyal to the king retreated inside the ancient city walls, which are still standing today.

Sign up to the EssexLive newsletter

If you’re looking for a way to stay up to date with the latest breaking news from around Essex, the EssexLive newsletter is a good place to start. 

The daily update will deliver the top news and features to your inbox every evening. 

We choose the most important stories of the day to include in the newsletter, including crime, court news, long reads, traffic and travel, food and drink articles and more.

Signing up to the newsletter is simple. All you have to do is to click here and type in your email address.

It’s one of the many ways that you can read the news that matters to you from EssexLive.

Parliamentarians loyal to Oliver Cromwell surrounded the city, cut off escape routes and began to hammer the town with cannon and musket fire.

The battle lasted 11 weeks, and is just one example of the huge amount of history associated with Colchester, Britain’s oldest town.

The River Hunters travel around the country and search through rivers to find historical artifacts
The River Hunters travel around the country and search through rivers to find historical artifacts
(Image: Sky History)

During their search of the River Colne, the team – consisting of river detectorist Beau Ouimette (known for his AquaChigger YouTube channel), TV presenter Rick Edwards and underwater archaeologist Gary Bankhead – found an incredibly exciting relic of the siege.

They found ruminants of a short barrelled Carbine gun, commonly used by calvary soldiers during the 1600s.

They also found a stirrup used on horse tack they believe to be from the 1648 Civil war siege because of its age and position on the river bank.

The team found a horse stirrup thought to be hundred of years old
The team found a horse stirrup thought to be hundred of years old
(Image: Sky History)

The team also found other historical artefacts, and spoke to local historians to find out more about the historic siege that happened right on our doorsteps.

A full episode of The River Hunters set in Colchester will be broadcast on Sky History on Monday (May 3) at 9pm.

To find out more, click here.

Essex Live