far Gathering.png
DSCN0794 Latest image cleaned Saxon coins PAS.png

h

t

t

h

e

e

h

h

o

o

a

a

L

e

n

b

o

r

o

u

g

h

r

d

£1.35 million! 

L

e

n

b

o

o

r

u

g

h

r

d

£1.35 million! 

Paul Coleman finds 5251 Viking and Anglo-Saxon silver pennies at the Weekend Wanderers Special Xmas dig 

AETHELRED THE UNREADY.png
Cnut the Great.png

Anglo- Saxon

Viking

and

hoard beneath container.png

5251 Pennies
in one hoard!

lead bucket close up.png
first three.png

Hoard!

The morning of 21 December 2014 saw the largest reported intact Anglo-Saxon hoard of silver coins found in the UK.

A chilly December morning greeted our club members who had traveled far & wide to search this promising historic land full of potential. So at 9.30am, off they went to explore the fields full of interesting features. 

A huge signal!

Paul Coleman hits a massive deep target with his Deus metal detector. He carefully removes soil until he reveals a greyish lead like crumbling material. Removing a small fragment revealed layers of coins so at that point he knew he had a hoard on his hands.

 

Without delay or further digging, Paul sent a messenger to the alert the organizers.

heads down.png
close Gathering.png

Sarah & Pete had only just started setting up the Xmas prizes in the barn when news arrived, 'There's been a coin hoard found, can you come and take a look?'

Sarah hastily went to investigate the find spot not far from the farmyard who eagerly called Pete & Ros Tyrell, the attending Finds Liaison Officer who was setting up her recording table at the time.  

Paul had dug a small, tidy yet deep hole  that seemed reluctant to allow in the wintry morning light to give us a glimpse of the gilt coloured coins. 

 

  

''What have you got then Paul? What are they?  Paul duly replied, 'Not picked one up yet so don't know yet' 'Well, get one out and let's have a look, they look like gold staters!' Without hesitation, Paul carefully picked out of the dimly lit hole, placed the topmost coin in Pete's hand. We both drew breath on seeing the first perfect Anglo-Saxon coin to hit the December day light. 'How big's your signal Paul?' asked Pete. 'Bout as big as a dustbin lid, almost didn't dig it!'  FLO Ros had arrived by quad bike.

poly bag 2 full large.png
Image by Avinash Kumar
hole  and first coins fade.png

'The count is up to 70 now!

As Ros got to work cordoning off an area, word quickly spread to a gathering crowd of detecting enthusiasts eager not to miss this once in a lifetime discovery.

Archaeologist Ros sets to work scraping off soil to reveal more of the fragile lead wrap exposing more of the coins that had by now been confirmed as coins of King Aelthelred the Unready. Back at the barn, news that the count was about 70 coins was amazing and that such a large Anglo-Saxon coin hoard had come up!

It was by about lunchtime that the tally had unbelievably risen to hundreds of coins. An intrigued onlooker quipped, 'Your'e looking at a million pound hoard there'

Undeterred by the fading daylight, bone chilling grass, Ros was determined to complete the excavation which had by now reached several thousand coins that clearly couldn't be left overnight and had to be secured.  Safely bagged up, the hoard headed for the warmth of the farm kitchen accompanied by helpers not so much numb with cold but with disbelief that they had been part of such a unique experience never heard of before. 

Image by Artiom Vallat

COUNT UP IN THE KITCHEN

Fading light retreated under the crisp cold blanket of darkness that insisted we finished outside. The farm house kitchen table beckoned which was hurriedly cleared by the crew of helpers,  the farmer and his family who looked on in disbelief as the spectacular mass of coins spilled from straining bags into an eye watering pile.

 

Mouths fell open silently save for the sharp intake of breath at the sight of the coins now for the first time seen amassed all together in a dreamlike mountain of silver coins.

Stacking the coins into groups for easier counting was undertaken,  the whole process of of which took two hours for the group to complete. The final tally was a staggering 5251 pennies leaving us all with the most obvious yet challenging question of why was it buried here?

Coins fade.png
a few more.png
DSCN0794 Latest image cleaned Saxon coins PAS.png
in the papers counting.png

Agnus Dei mule

This unique coin was accidentally made from  dies from two separate issues.

AGNUS DEI MULE A clear.png

Æthelred  the Unready
(reigned 978–1013 and 1014–1016)

On display at the Bucks County Museum are 985 Aethelred the Unready silver coins stacked on the 40 places they were minted. 

Cnut the Great 
(reigned 1016–1035)

The main part of the coin hoard consisted of 4258 short cross coins on Cnut. Also within the hoard were four Irish Aethelred imitations & four Cnut imitations.

Display in museum

Display.png