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Shropshire’s first recorded hoard of Iron Age coins acquired by Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery

A handful of 2000-year-old precious gold coins are to go on display in Shropshire for the first time on Monday 1st August 2016 after being acquired by Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery.

The seven gold coins date back to AD20-50 and are the first recorded Iron Age coin hoard from Shropshire. They were unearthed in 2015 near Claverley by a group of metal detectorists.

They had been buried just before or after the Roman invasion on the edge of the lands belonging to the Cornovii tribe. Whatever their reason, the person who buried the coins never returned to collect them.

The hoard’s principal finder, Derek Lloyd, said:

“I couldn’t believe my eyes when I found the first coin. It was a bright as the day it was buried.”

Since their discovery the coins have been in the care of the British Museum where they have been studied whilst Shropshire Council’s museums service raised the funds required to purchase them.

Thanks to grants from the V&A/ACE Purchase Grant Fund, Headley Trust, Friends of Shrewsbury Museum and Shropshire Archaeology and History Society, Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery has been given the money necessary to keep this remarkable find in the public domain.

Emma-Kate Lanyon, head of collections for Shropshire Council’s museums service, said:

“Iron Age artefacts from Shropshire are rare and Iron Age coin hoards from the Midlands and Western Britain are very rare indeed. This is the first recorded Iron Age coin hoard from Shropshire and so we wanted to make sure the coins were kept together.

“Over the last twenty years archaeologists and metal detectorists have been working together through the Portable Antiquities Scheme to record such finds and we are learning more about this period of our ancient history all the time.”

Stuart West, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for culture and leisure, said:

“We are extremely grateful for the contributions made by local charities and national bodies to make this purchase. Staff at the museum hope to use the find as a catalyst to develop an exciting new exhibition about the Iron Age as this is a period all our primary school children now study.

“In the meantime, the coins will go on show in the Roman Gallery at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery alongside several other important Iron Age finds from recent years.”

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