Centuries-old military items left by Scottish rebels recovered from Yorkshire's waterways as part of Sky archaeology series River Hunters

Experts who searched Yorkshire's medieval battlefields for an upcoming episode of Sky History series River Hunters have made several significant finds.

The Nidd at Knaresborough
The Nidd at Knaresborough

Presenting team Beau Ouimette, Rick Edwards and Gary Bankhead - who specialise in underwater detecting and archaeology - studied the rivers Nidd and Swale for items left over from 14th-century clashes between English forces and Scottish raiders during the First Scottish War of Independence.

Two battles were fought in the area in 1318 and 1319. In the first, warriors led by Sir James 'Black' Douglas crossed the border and attacked Knaresborough Castle, plundering the town. As the River Nidd passes close to the fortifications, the team concentrated their hunt on the waterway.

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There was another Black Douglas-led raid a year later on the Swale, when an impromptu force of local militia confronted the Scots in the Battle of Myton - known as 'the White Battle' because so many trainee priests from York Minster were pressed into fighting and were slain near Boroughbridge.

The team's discoveries will be aired on Sky History on Monday May 10 at 9pm.

These include a lead token with a geometric design that has been dated to the 1300s, when they were often used in place of coins, and what is thought to be a medieval game piece or a lead weight from the same period.

Another find in the Nidd was part of an iron cooking pot. It has been speculated that the Scots would have taken stolen iron products back with them as there was little iron available in Scotland at the time.

At the White Battle site on the Swale, a copper button from the 1300s was verified by the programme's finds liaison officer, Susheela Burford.

A more speculative find from the river was a potential lead curse tablet, used for writing messages that would be thrown into water to enact a curse. Its origins are difficult to confirm but it could be centuries old.

Later finds included an Irish half-penny from the reign of King George III in the 1700s, a Scottish Turner coin from the 1600s and an ornate stair carpet grip from the Victorian era.