The discovery of a Roman coin hoard in Leominster, near the border with Wales, is a reminder that around 1,700 years ago, Roman soldiers were a common sight in the West Midlands region of England.
In early August 2015, the Portable Antiquities Scheme based at the British Museum, which records archaeological finds made by the public in England and Wales, announced details of a coin hoard that was discovered in July 2013 near Leominster.
The hoard comprised 518 mixed copper coins struck in the second half of the third century A.D.
The hoard was located in the Welsh Marches, the name commonly given to those parts of the English counties that border the principality of Wales.
Leominster (pronounced Lem-ster) is west of Worcester (the birthplace of Sir Thomas Brock, who designed Queen Victoria’s portrait for her “Old Head” coinage) and south of Ludlow (a medieval town with a castle).
The historical market town of Leominster dates back to the seventh century. It is rich in “black and white” timber houses of the 16th and early 17th centuries that then, as now, overhung its narrow lanes, while the wide thoroughfare of Broad Street has gracious 18th century Georgian buildings.
While meandering round the towns of the Welsh Marches it is easy to conjure up knights of old in armor, as well as individuals in Elizabethan, Stuart, and Georgian dress. Of course well before the middle ages, the land was inhabited by the ancient Britons, Celts, and Romans.
Finding the hoard
A full investigation of the find site as well as the conservation and identification of the coins caused the two-year delay between discovery and disclosure.
The discovery was made by Jeremy Daw and Martin Fulloway, two metal detector enthusiasts who worked together as paramedics. Although the hoard is not a particularly large one, it is important, as it is well-preserved and the action of the treasure seekers allowed a full methodical examination of the site by professional archaeologists.