Roman coin hoard returning home to Warwickshire

A Roman coin hoard will be returning to home to Warwickshire thanks to a successful fundraising campaign.

Warwickshire County Council announced on Tuesday (April 16) that it has met the £62,000 funding target needed to purchase a Roman coin hoard of 440 silver denarii coins.

The hoard was uncovered during an archaeological dig at a Roman site on the Edge Hill in 2015. They were buried in a ceramic pot more than 1900 years ago, under the floor of a building. This is second Roman coin hoard found in this area.

The fundraising campaign was launched in February to help raise £62,000 to acquire the coins to display them at the Market Hall Museum in Warwick.

To help raise the money the council submitted applications for grants but also had to raise £3,000 locally.

The council were successful in their applications to the V&A Purchase Grant Fund for £30,000 and the Art Fund totalling £14,000.

Read More: Fundraising appeal to help buy Roman coin hoard for Warwick museum

A fundraising evening, which was held at the Market Hall Museum on Friday April 5, where there was an opportunity to hear from Dr Stanley Ireland of the University of Warwick, who catalogued the first South Warwickshire Hoard. It was also a chance for people to see the pot that the coins were found in and some examples from the first Roman hoard.

The event raised more than £2,000 and the remainder of the funding has come from generous donations by supporters of the Museum Service.

Sara Wear, curator of Human History for the Warwickshire Museum Service, said: “The interest the hoard and the campaign has generated is far beyond what anyone could have imagined. We have received donations and enquires from all over the world. We are sure, once the hoard is on display, it will attract visitors to the town and to Warwickshire.

“On behalf of the Warwickshire County Council Museum Service, we would like to thank everyone who has contributed to bringing the hoard home for generations to come to enjoy. We hope to be able to bring the hoard back to Warwickshire within the next few months so that it can be displayed at the Market Hall Museum this summer.”

Read More: Progress made in raising thousands of pounds to buy Roman coin hoard for Warwick museum

This is the second hoard of denarii to be found in this area and this new discovery contains 78 coins dating to AD 68-69, a turbulent time in Roman history known as the ‘Year of the Four Emperors’.

The ‘Year of the Four Emperors’, started after the death of Nero in AD 68 sparked a civil war, resulting in four successive rulers in a short span of time: Galba, Otho, Vitellius and finally Vespasian.

As they vied for power, each contender created their own coins to fund their armies and these coins are rare. Within a roughly 18-month period the title of Emperor changed hands four times.

Very few of these coins from this turbulent time survive. This second South Warwickshire hoard contains the largest collection of civil war-era coins ever found.