The War of the Roses Hoard

There is little in the coin world that excites in the way that a newly discovered hoard does. The mystery, antiquity and sheer romance of unearthing a group of coins that have remained in the earth, undisturbed for years, cannot be rivalled. Silver and Gold coins discovered together in the countryside, perhaps deliberately buried, perhaps dropped in a bag, they offer a tangible link to those who lived in the same landscape as us all those years ago. Metal Detectorists dream of finding them and collectors dream of adding coins with unrepeatable history and provenance to their collections.

This is just such a treasure hoard, comprising of thirty-six silver groats and three gold Ryal’s or Rose Nobles, found by two experienced metal detectorists searching a field in Wiltshire during autumn 2018. The coins were scattered by agricultural activities when located by the finders who had the unique excitement of extracting coins from the ground where they had remained undisturbed for some five hundred and fifty years.

The tale of the hoard’s discovery is almost like a ‘fairy tale’ having spent a clear but chilly morning in a field which was usually used for grazing. It was only when, having given up for the day, the pair turned back towards their car, a silver groat and then three more were found. The potential of the site was immediately clear. After careful work with other detectorists, alongside the landowner, the full extent of the hoard was revealed.

Naturally the correct procedure was followed and the collection of coins were recorded with the PAS Scheme (REF: SOM-AEF1FC). A Coroner’s report was compiled stating the full detail of the find. Quoting from this report the quality and importance of the find is immediately apparent.

‘The coins belong to the first reigns of Henry VI and Edward IV which was the period of the Wars of the Roses. They are a highly selected group of good condition, high value coins and do not simply reflect the general coinage in circulation at the time.

The majority appear to be a group of closely dated coins of the same denomination. This close grouping does not reflect the general distribution in coinage at the time and may reflect specific episodes of payment or saving of money. The coins may have been brought as a group from the mint and a closure date for the hoard of AD 1468 or 1469 might be expected. The one Irish coin however is normally thought to date from 1470 at the earliest. The large proportion of coins from the Bristol mint is noteworthy. The lack of other mints suggests selection into the hoard group soon after minting before they had become mixed with the general currency.’

This is a well recorded and properly reported treasure find which we are delighted to be able to offer the private collector a chance to own a part of, silver groats buried during the War of the Roses, exciting English history in our hands! Each coin will come with an information sheet giving details of the hoard. To view coins available please click here.

For a detailed report of the hoard on the Portable Antiquities Scheme website please click here.

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