Coins unearthed – 700 years later

The coins
The coins

A group of amateur treasure-hunters struck gold – well silver to be exact – when they unearthed a horde of 13th Century coins.

The excited members of Hyndburn and Ribble Valley Metal-Detecting Club were on a group dig at a farm in Sawley when enthusiast John Ward discovered a silver coin dating from the reign of King Edward I, followed by another, and another, until 29 coins were discovered.

King Edward I

King Edward I

King Edward I, known as “Longshanks” because of his great height, and “Hammer of the Scots”, ruled from 1272 to 1307 for the powerful House of Plantagenet.

Any find numbering more than two items and aged over 300 years old is officially classed as treasure and must be forwarded to a Coroner to hold an inquest.

Clitheroe member Andrew Smith (46) said: “It wasn’t that unusual when John detected one of the coins, but this soon turned to excitement when more and more members began to find others in the same field.

“They are all silver one penny pieces in quite good condition, dating from the reign of Edward I. I find a number of the same coins in nearby Pendleton earlier this year so there was obviously a lot of activity in this area at that time.”

The coins will now be forwarded to the Finds Liaison Officer at the Museum of Lancashire and then to the British Museum, which will decide what happens to them.

Andrew believes each individual coin would be valued at between £10 to £20.

He added: “Finding a horde like this really gives the members a buzz and gets you thinking how they came to be there. It could be they had all originally been stored in a jar or perhaps fallen from a horse. It really is fascinating.”