Scouts and students discovered a musket ball, a wedding ring, and two military pendants when they took part in an archaeological dig to investigate the borough’s past.

The youngsters helped the Kingston upon Thames Archaeological Society after they won a £28,400 Heritage Lottery grant to investigate a site on the Hogsmill River in August last year.

The dig at the Southwood Scout Activity Centre in Tolworth focused on palaeoecology, which reconstructs the past environment through bore-holing and digging pits.

A lead token was also among the items found through the digging and metal detecting, which helped scouts achieve their heritage badge.

Geology A-Level student Alex Hazzard said: "I had a great time excavating the test trenches and helping out with the bore holes, taking samples from deep below the surface.

"I found it fascinating to see the geological history of the field we were working in emerge out of the ground.

"There was a great collection of finds from across the site, my brother and his friend were particularly proud to have found a lead medallion with a medieval map of France imprinted on one side while using the metal detectors – one of the major finds of the day."

Research shows the meandering stream was once much wider and faster flowing and there were rumoured to be 13 gunpowder mills along its banks.

The fieldwork has now been turned into an exhibition, which aims to put the techniques and results into wider context of the area’s rich historical past.

Project manager Rebecca Lambert said: "We are delighted with the results. Evidence for people and the landscape at this time is rare in south east England, so further research is being undertaken on the borehole samples by students at Reading University."

The exhibition, called The Hogsmill: A journey through time, will run at Kingston Museum between the May 19 and July 14. For more information visit or