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Types of Lead Bale Seals found at Bentham

(Updated June2022 for the Lancaster Maritime Museum)

 

Links to BENTHAM COLLECTION in
LANCASTER MARITIME MUSEUM

 

 

The purpose of this page. To illustrate the main different types of lead Russian flax and hemp bale seals found with metal detectors at Bentham Mills. Please note that there are other types of Russian Flax and Hemp bale seals 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

(ЛД=LD SPB Flax

1829 - 1860

(ПД=PD) SPB Hemp

SPB   1740 - 1828

 (ЛД=LD) CПБ Flax

1829 - 1860

 (ПД=PD) CПБ Hemp

1829 - 1841

ПИЛПД Hemp

SPB, CПБ  1829 - 1841

Paired Inspectors

Early 19th Century

 Pavlov Stars

19th C. St Petersburg

Hands of Friendship
19th C. St Petersburg

     

 

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

City Customs Tax

1802 - 1809

Circular Dated Seals 1815

The anchor indicates an Orthodox Christian

  How the flax seals got into the
fields around Bentham Mill
.

Every bale of flax and hemp stems was fastened together with a lead seal by a quality control 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.

 

Lancaster Maritime Museum is housing the Bentham Collection.

 

Links to BENTHAM COLLECTION in
LANCASTER MARITIME MUSEUM

 

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