Craven Museum secures grants to buy Roman coins

Craven Herald: Craven Museum’s Martin Wills with Mick Wilson and Colin Binns who discovered the Roman coins while out metal detecting Craven Museum’s Martin Wills with Mick Wilson and Colin Binns who discovered the Roman coins while out metal detecting

A Skipton museum has secured two grants to purchase a hoard of Roman coins found in a field in Upper Wharfedale.

Craven Museum and Gallery received a £450 grant from the V&A Purchase Grant Fund and a £350 grant from the Headley Trust to purchase 33 Roman dinari which were found by treasure hunters who were metal detecting in a farmer’s field near Hebden.

Skipton’s Colin Binns and Colne man Mick Wilson made the startling discovery on May 29, 2011.

The dinari, dating from 70AD to 180AD, were found nine inches below the ground’s surface.

The coin stash, which was originally believed to be the wages of a Roman soldier, was valued at £900 by the British Museum.

With the grants totalling £800, Craven Museum has had to chip in £100 to purchase the coins.

Martin Wills, collections and engagement officer at Craven Museum and Gallery, said he was pleased to secure the coins.

“We’re very grateful to both trusts and the finders as well, who were keen that these coins should go to a museum,” said Mr Wills.

“The most interesting thing with these coins is that they span over a period of a hundred years. The newest coin (dated 180AD) is from Marcus Aurelius’ time as emperor while the oldest (dated 70AD) comes from a time when Vespasian was emperor.”

“This find shows the Roman presence in England at the time,” said Mr Wills, who pointed out that the coins would be a unique addition to the museum.

“We have other Roman coins, but not from that time period.”

Mr Wills said that museum staff had been busy adding the coins to the museum’s electronic library database so everyone could learn more about them.

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