Court rules rare 14th century coin must be returned

A Shropshire woman who must hand over a rare 14th century coin she claims was given to her by her late mother said she was "incredibly disappointed" by the court ruling. A Shropshire woman who must hand over a rare 14th century coin she claims was given to her by her late mother said she was "incredibly disappointed" by the court ruling. Kate Harding, 24, from Ludlow, broke down as a jury at Stourport-on Severn Coroner's Court ruled the 14th century French piedfort must be given to the British Museum. Jurors at the inquest yesterday took under an hour to unanimously decide the artefact was treasure. They had heard Miss Harding had told different stories to police and historians about how she found the coin. Speaking outside the court a tearful Miss Harding, who has fought a landmark legal battle since first seeking advice about the artefact at Ludlow Museum in 2009, said she was "incredibly disappointed" with the result. Full story in today's Shropshire Star

Court rules rare 14th century coin must be returned

A Shropshire woman who must hand over a rare 14th century coin she claims was given to her by her late mother said she was "incredibly disappointed" by the court ruling.

Kate Harding, 24, from Ludlow, broke down as a jury at Stourport-on Severn Coroner's Court ruled the 14th century French piedfort must be given to the British Museum.

Jurors at the inquest yesterday took under an hour to unanimously decide the artefact was treasure.

They had heard Miss Harding had told different stories to police and historians about how she found the coin.

Speaking outside the court a tearful Miss Harding, who has fought a landmark legal battle since first seeking advice about the artefact at Ludlow Museum in 2009, said she was "incredibly disappointed" with the result.

Miss Harding said: "I am so disappointed as I don't have many of my mum's things and it meant so much to me.

"I don't even know how much it's worth but you can't replace sentimental value.

"The money would have helped but it meant so much more to me.

"It's something I remember playing with alongside my mum and it just reminds me of her.

"In some ways I am glad this is all over but just incredibly disappointed at the way it's gone.

"I'm surprised by the verdict after everything that was said and I think the coroner was too."

She had earlier told the court she remembered playing with the object in about 1993 alongside her mother, who died two years later.

Miss Harding claimed that her mother had allowed her to keep the artefact.

But after hearing statements, jurors ruled the coin was most likely to have been found in 2000 by the Harding family and therefore classed as treasure under the Treasure Act.

The court heard if they had agreed it was owned by Miss Harding before September 1997, they would have made a ruling under common law, making the coin much less likely to be treasure.

The piedfort was not officially classed as a coin during the inquest, as it is thought to have been used for ceremonial purposes rather than as a means of payment.

By Danny Carden

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