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Coin hoard from Henry III times on display

Thame Museums treasurer David Bretherton and David Dodds are pictured with a hoard of 60 silver coins from the reign of Henry III that were found in a field at Oakley  - they are on loan from Buckinghamshire County Museum

Thame Museums treasurer David Bretherton and David Dodds are pictured with a hoard of 60 silver coins from the reign of Henry III that were found in a field at Oakley - they are on loan from Buckinghamshire County Museum

Silver coins dating from 1250AD and found in an Oakley field are now on display to the public.

The 60 coins, from the reign of England’s first child-king, Henry III, were found by Phil Pearce and Pete Cross, two metal detectorists who belong to the Thame museum’s club.

Treasurer David Bretherton said: “They were incredibly excited. The coins do rank towards the top of the exhibits we have here.”

The coins were discovered two years ago but have only just gone on display at the museum following a prolonged Treasure Trove process when they were examined, assessed and valued by the British Museum.

Bucks County Museum then bought the hoard for over £1,000 and has passed them over to Thame Museum on loan for several years.

Mr Bretherton said: “The coins were found on one of the metal detectorist’s routine foraging days in a farmer’s field in Oakley.

“There are 60 of them, they are about the size of an old sixpence. Some of them are cut in half or quartered because that’s how change was given back then.”

The coins are now on display on a special cloth aimed at preserving the silver, in a secured glass cabinet in the museum on the High Street.

Mr Bretherton said the town of Thame was established in 1150 and there were people living in timber houses on both sides of the High Street at that time, with most people employed in agriculture in some way.

He said: ““These coins must have belonged to a very very wealthy guy, he wouldn’t have lost them.

“He stashed them away but didn’t come back for whatever reason. Life expectancy wasn’t so great at that time, he may have been killed in conflict, or 
died naturally, we will never know.”

The metal detectorists who found the coins handed them over to the finds liasion officer at Bucks County Museum, who then passed them on to the 
British Museum for assessment.

Thame Museum is open to the public on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10am-4pm and on Sundays from noon-4pm.

 

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