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26 May 2022

WARNING - HEMLOCK & HEMLOCK WATER DROPWORT

Hemlock is reappearing in the lanes and fields around Priston.

It is very poisonous, and there was a previous serious case of suspected hemlock poisoning where a villager was clearing hemlock with a scythe - fortunately no harm was done.

Hemlock looks similar to Cow Parsley, grows up to 5-8ft tall, and flowers from June to July. It can be distinguished by the brown/purplish speckles and streaks on its hairless green hollow stems.

Do take care if clearing hemlock. Wear protective clothing and do not burn the plant. Place them in a plastic bag and place in your bin.

Hemlock Water Dropwort

Hemlock Water Dropwort is distinct from Hemlock, and is regarded as the most poisonous native plant in the British Isles. It is dangerous to both humans and livestock.

It grows about 1.5m tall with white flowers from June to July arranged in white umbels, similar to Cow Parsley. Brown, rugby-shaped seeds follow the flowers. Its leaves resemble those of celery or parsley. The stems are shiny green, hairless, grooved and hollow. The highly poisonous roots when exposed are pale yellow-white tubers that strongly resemble parsnips. The whole of the plant is poisonous. The plant is common in or immediately next to streams and rivers.

Protective clothing should be worn when clearing the plant. It may be burnt. Livestock should be excluded from areas where it is being cleared.

See the photos of Hemlock on the Priston Web.

See the descriptions of Hemlock and Hemlock Water Dropwort from Wildflowerfinder.org.uk.

27 Jul 2010

MEDIEVAL JETON FIND


Paul Walker and Chris Wheeler of Trowbridge Metal Detecting Club recently found a rare medieval jeton in a Priston field.

The object is a 15th Century Medieval Jeton of France (reign of Charles VI 1380 – 1422 AD).

Jetons were used for early accountancy calculations, before the advent of arabic numerals and to cope with the complexity of multiple money types circulating  at any one time.  They were used on a board divided into rows and columns hence the expression "Exchequer" because of the resemblance to a chess board.
Click on the links below for:

(Thanks to Aylet Anderson for providing this information item.)