Museum bidding for piano coins found in Shropshire

By Mark Drew | Bishop's Castle | Attractions | Published:

Coins found inside a piano in Shropshire are set to be given a new home in a museum.

The find was made in 2016 in Bishop's Castle when the piano's new owners had it retuned and repaired. It has since been declared as treasure.

Broadwood and Sons, of London, made the upright piano and sold it to two music teachers in Saffron Waldon, Essex, in 1906.

Now, a museum in the town is trying to "bring home" some of the coins.

There are 913 gold sovereigns and half sovereigns dating from 1847 to 1915, from the reigns of Queen Victoria, Edward VII and George V.

They were found under the keyboard of the piano, stitched into cloth-bound packets and a single leather drawstring purse.

At an inquest in Shropshire, to decide whether the find qualified as treasure, it was revealed 50 people came forward laying claim to the hoard.

But the tuner who found it and Bishop's Castle Community College, which owns the piano, shared a reward from the find.

The piano was donated to the college by Graham and Meg Hemmings, who owned the piano for 33 years unaware of what was inside.


Saffron Walden Museum said it believed the coins were "deliberately hidden" by a Saffron Walden resident sometime in or after 1926.

The piano had latterly been purchased by the Hemming family in the Saffron Walden area in 1983, who moved to Shropshire and donated it to the college.

It now wants to raise £3,000 to acquire a selection of the coins and the piano for a display and education piece for schoolchildren. So far it has raised just over £500.

Mark Drew

By Mark Drew

Group Head of News


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