Hoard of Roman coins and brooch found in Shropshire declared treasure

Roman coins and a silver medieval brooch found by a metal detectorists in two separate areas of Shropshire have been declared treasure.

A collection of 37 small coins were unearthed in June last year at Hollyhurst near Whitchurch and are to be known as the Hollyhurst hoard.

The small decorative brooch, which experts say amazingly survived hundreds of years under a ploughed field unscathed, was found near Whittington, Oswestry.

Now officially treasure, the Shropshire Museum Service is to fundraise so that it can keep both finds for the county.

Coroner for Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin, Mr John Ellery, made the official declaration of treasure in separate hearings at the Shirehall, Shrewsbury, today.

He was told that the small denomination, brass or copper alloy Roman Coins, known as Dupondii and Asses, were deposited during the reign of the Emperor Trajan after AD 111.

Some dated back to between AD 69-79 from the time of Emperor Vespasian.

The silver pin brooch

Experienced metal detectorist, Mr Nigel Green came across them on pasture land at a depth of between eight and 12 inches and reported them to the finds service.

The small circular pin brooch was discovered, again by a metal detectorist, Paul Murphy, on January 5 this year. Experts say it dates back to between 1115 and 1400 AD.

Mr Ellery said that it qualified as treasure because it contained at least a minimum of 10 per cent precious metal.

Dr Malcolm Jones, a medieval specialist in inscriptions, said the design of the symbols on the brooch could be considered to be pseudo- inscription or a pleasing pattern.

"During the period there were high levels of illiteracy and the fact that the pattern is letter like might be good enough for the wearer," he said.

Following the hearings Peter Reavill, the Finds Liaison Officer, British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Shropshire, said both finds were fascinating insights into Shropshire's past.

He said that Shropshire Museums had expressed an interest in acquiring them with the hope of displaying them in galleries at Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery.

"They will now be valued by a treasure valuation committee. Once a market value is set Shropshire Museums’ will fund raise so that these artefacts can be saved for the people of the county. The monies raised will then be given to the finders and landowners as a reward."

He praised the finders for their responsible metal detecting.

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