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English Civil war in Wales

Started by Figleaf, August 18, 2007, 11:08:59 AM

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Civil War coin hoard 'goes home'
Last Updated: Friday, 17 August 2007, 05:42 GMT 06:42 UK

The largest hoard of English Civil War coins found in Wales are going on show in the county where they turned up.
Metal detector enthusiast Roy Lewis uncovered the 500 coins dating back to the 1640s at Tregwynt Mansion near Fishguard, Pembrokeshire, in 1996.

They are going on display for the first time in the county as a centrepiece of an exhibition at Scolton Manor Museum.

The coins were bought by National Museum Wales with a heritage lottery grant for an undisclosed fee.

Initially local legend had it that buried treasure connected to a French landing nearby on 22 February 1797, lay in the grounds of Tregwynt Mansion.

It was said worried guests attending a ball, frightened by the news that the French had landed at Carreg Wastad, buried their valuables in the grounds before departing.

The invasion entered Welsh folklore as it was said local women dressed in a black-and-red traditional costumes, led by Jemima Nicholas, tricked French troops into surrendering as the French thought they were soldiers.

Although the story of guests burying their valuables was well known, nothing was ever found to suggest it was true.


Then in 1996 Mr Lewis uncovered the hoard of gold and silver coins.

However, they proved not to be from 1797, but dated back to the English Civil War of the 1640s.

Shards of pottery and a fine gold "posy" ring were also found at the site.

It was thought the collection was most likely to have been buried in 1648, the year of a rebellion in Pembrokeshire.

The governor of Pembroke Castle, John Poyer, who had served Parliament loyally through the first English Civil War, rebelled when told he was to be replaced.

The brief uprising was put down at St Fagans, near Cardiff, and Oliver Cromwell chased the rebels back to Pembrokeshire and laid siege to Pembroke Castle.

The exhibition at Scolton Manor, which was being officially opened by Welsh heritage Minister Rhodri Glyn Thomas on Friday, runs until 31 October.

Source: BBC news
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.


There are a lot of different coins there!

I have tried to answer the oldest unanswered post on this thread!  Over 6 years without a comment needed rectifying 8)


Thanks for digging up this thread, Tony. It is one of those remarkable newspaper stories that confront tight-lipped scientist, who conclude from the fact that a treasure was found that someone must have buried it there, with local Daphne-du-Maurier types :)

I am a great fan of local lore, not because it is so easy to shoot holes in the tales, but because it shows how people throughout the ages had a need and liking for romantic and adventure stories.

In the case of this story, it is highly unlikely that the guests at the ball buried their valuables, got the French to surrender and forgot where they had buried their stuff in a span of at most three days, while the digging marks must still have been fresh. Never mind.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.


Hoards are always fascinating, in that one wonders why it was they were never recovered.  I suspect that in many cases it was because the person who buried the hoard met an untimely end or, more rarely I suspect, was idiot enough not to be able to find where it was hidden.

There was a wonderful hoard buried near Leicester at the time of the Battle of Bosworth Field which contained some coins not previously known.  It was dug up by four workmen. Two declared their coins to the coroner and were duly rewarded, while the other two tried to keep them and were severely punished by the courts.

Another hoard that must have been wonderful to find was in Coventina's Well on Hadrians Wall at Carrawburgh, where over 16,000 coins were found, but this was in the nature of a votive offering accumulated over time from the reign of Hadrian through to that of Honorius, about 400 years later.

I was fortunate enough to be on the jury of a coroner's court dealing with a hoard found in Shropshire.  I always wondered about the person who hid it.