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The PeaceHavens Project

Types of Lead Bale Seals found at West House Mill




The purpose of this page. To illustrate the main different types of lead Russian flax and hemp bale seals found with metal detectors at West House Mills. Please note that there are other types found elsewhere in the UK


Archangel Seals

1806 - 1889

Crosslet Flax Seals
18th - 19th Century

Crossed Keys Seals
18th - 19th Century

(ЛД=LD) NP Flax
 1754 - 1828


1829 - 1860

(ПД=PD) SPB Hemp

SPB   1740 - 1828

 (ЛД=LD CПБ Flax

1829 - 1860

 (ПД=PD) CПБ Hemp

1829 - 1841


City Customs Tax

1802 - 1809

Circular Dated Seals 1815

The anchor indicates an Orthodox Christian

The seals below occur at Bentham Mills but not at West House Mill


SPB, CПБ  1829 - 1841

Paired Inspectors

Early 19th Century

 Pavlov Stars

19th C. St Petersburg

Hands of Friendship

19th C. St Petersburg


  How the flax seals got into the fields around West House Mill
Every bale of flax and hemp stems was fastened together with a lead seal by a quality inspector in Russia before shipping by sailing ship to the UK. After processing the discarded stems of the flax and hemp with seals still attached were prized as fertilizer by local farmers and were spread onto the land mixed with night soil manure where they remain to be found even until today.


      The discarded stalks of the flax, after the retting process, with the bale seal still attached, were highly prized as fertilizer by farmers and they were spread on the land mixed with night soil .. human excrement which was collected in the dark of night. So prized was the fertilizer that all of the fields where flax seals have been found, belonged to the mill owner .. and this has been found to be the case all over the UK.





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