The PeaceHavens Project



We go seal hunting for 200 year old Russian flax bale seals - not this cutie pie.

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  An ongoing project involving the finding and identification of Russian Lead Flax and Hemp Bale Seals and Lead Trading Tokens from the disused Flax Mills at Aked's High Mill, Bentham Mills, Brompton Mills, Folly Ghyll Mill, Kinghorn Mills, Knaresborough Mills, Little Patrick Mill, Penny Bridge Mill, West House Mills and other sites and museums throughout the British Isles.    For many decades in the 18th & 19th centuries, Russia was by far the world's greatest exporter of flax and hemp  plants via the ports of Archangel, Konigsberg, Kronstadt, Libnau, Memel, Narva, Pernau, Revel, Riga, St Petersburg, Tilsit, Windau and Great Britain was Russia's major customer.






Copyright 2022 Ged Dodd
aka PeaceHavens Project
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   History .. 

In the Spring of 2013 Ged Dodd, (Jed Dodd) aka PeaceHavens, was searching on a friend's land a mile away from Bentham flax mill when he stumbled on an unexpected lead seal which turned out to be an 1826 Russian lead flax bale seal .. another half an hour's search turned up 27 more ..  The find was recorded on uTube but no one was able to identify them .. especially as the seals were written in the Cyrillic alphabet  .. so .. because Ged had a holiday farm in Bulgaria and he could read Cyrillic he started to make a database of seals from Bentham which now has over 1400 entries and then other mills in the north of England and Scotland which to date have given us over 7500 entries, and this has enabled him to rewrite the rules on Russian lead flax bale seals of the 18th/19th century.     Ged put a page on face book offering a free translation of the flax bale seals and for people to join the Project... 

    We receive several seal pictures every day from detectorists, FLO's and museums. Also on the site to help are Stuart F Elton of BagSeals.Org to sort out the commoner bag and cloth seals and Tanya Flow, Ged's Russian associate who helps out on old Russian names and companies.   The PeaceHavensProject are now the leading authority on Russian Lead Flax/Hemp Bale Seals with many new, unknown and unique seals on the database being added every day, and are rewriting the books.   Thanks must be given to the Project team of detectorists who have diligently worked the sites of Aked (Whinny Hill), Bentham, Little Patrick and West House mills ... Jackie Smith, John Tichen, Johnny StormCrow, Paul Pablo Jackson, Neil Jones, Andrew and Carol Jones .. and to the many farmers who have welcomed us onto their land.  The site at has many pages giving an overwhelming description of the Flax/Hemp bale seals with some 10,000 thumbnails and rules for translating the seals. It is currently being updated to a simpler version for newcomers to seals.

   It must be stressed this is an on going project .. and is subject to change with every new piece of information received .. the soft lead seals are notorious for being distorted and damaged .. so every single new find could give that one missing letter needed to get the full picture .. and it does get your name on the historical database.

 There are 1000's of videos showing every seal found by the project.








 Lancaster Maritime Museum is to house the Bentham Collection.