New Forest treasure trove as weeding yields Tudor gold coins

Keep on weeding!

New Forest family finds Tudor gold coins hoard whilst weeding!

gold coins

I don't know how many of you have been following the recent Archers storyline about treasure hunting! Anyway for one New Forest family it's bingo, with a case of unintentional treasure hunting yielding a small fortune. 

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New Forest hoard - from as long ago as 1540!

Sixty three gold coins and one silver coin thought to have been deposited around the year 1540 were found in the New Forest by members of a family who had been pulling weeds out of their garden!

The British Museum which registered the find has reported that the coins date from the late 15th to early16th century and include four coins from Henry VIII’s reign, unusually featuring the initials of his wives Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour. 

John Naylor, from the Ashmolean Museum, said the hoard was likely to have been hidden either by a wealthy merchant or clergy fearful of Henry VIII during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, in which he took control of many of the religious community’s assets.

Mr Naylor said: “It is likely that there are two options of who may have buried a hoard like this. It could be a merchant’s hoard. There was a lot of wealth in that part of the world. The wool trade was still very important. The New Forest is also very close to the coast and very close to some major ports so it is entirely possible it could be someone involved in maritime trade.
“On the other hand though, you also have this period in the late 1530s and 1540s where you have the Dissolution of the Monasteries. We do know that some monasteries and some churches did try to hide their wealth hoping that they would be able to keep it in the long term.”

gardening 4545660 600x400The total value of the coins – more than £14,000 in today’s money – far exceeds the average annual wage in the Tudor period, according to experts.

Lockdown and gardening

Ian Richardson, treasure registrar at the British Museum, said: “People during lockdown have been spending more time at home and maybe turning to pursuits that they hadn’t engaged with so much before. They were out turning up the soil and all of a sudden these coins popped out of the ground miraculously. It is quite a shocking find for them and very interesting for us.”

It come as pandemic-enforced lockdowns has led to a rise in amateur finds. (Back to the Archers!) 

Keep on weeding!

And the moral of the story: keep on weeding! 


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