Shropshire Star

Man who discovered Shropshire Roman coin hoard wants them to stay in county

A metal detectorist who found a hoard of Roman coins in Shropshire is keen to help keep them in the county.

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Darren Booth with some of the coins

The Gobowen Hoard, consisting of 337 silver Roman coins, was unearthed by metal detectorist Darren Booth in a ploughed field in the north of the county in September 2019.

A treasure inquest held in Shrewsbury officially declared the Gobowen Hoard to be treasure.

Darren, aged 40, from Penyffordd, near Chester, was with the Historic Search Society Mold on September 8, 2019, when he first found one coin, with the rest causing his detecting kit to go crazy.

"I originally found only one coin, it was my first Roman coin," said Darren of his find of a lifetime.

"Then I found another but I thought it had dropped out of my pocket. Then my machine was beeping all over the place.

"At first it was excitement but then it became serious when it became a hoard. The coins were piled up and it was obvious they were in-situ as they had been left."

Darren added that when they called the archaeologists they could not come until the next week "so we had to bury them again!".

He said he wanted to highlight the correct way of dealing with historic finds, which involves telling the local finds liaison officer.

And he wants to help promote Shrewsbury Museum's crowdfunding appeal to help keep the coins in the county.

"I would love to be able to visit them in the museum," he said.

"I want Shrewsbury to have the hoard because it is local history. One of the coins is from 69-70AD, the time of Emperor Vespasian. It is rare - only the second coin of its type in Britain. The first one is in the British Museum but the one I found is much better."

The crowdfunder has a target of £6,200 and with 21 days of the campaign to go it had attracted £360 in online donations.

The hoard was discovered close to Watling Street, now the A5; the major Roman Road that connected London to Chester.

A museum spokesperson said: "Just 20 years after the Romans conquered most of Britain, their control was in doubt. Fierce resistance in the west and north and Queen Boudicca’s revolt had shaken the Empire’s confidence.

"The future of Roman Britain seemed uncertain. The Gobowen Hoard was found close to Watling Street. This suggests that people were burying their valuables as they moved along major routeways, each hoping for better times to return and retrieve their wealth.

"One such hoard lay forgotten for almost 2,000 years until it was found by a group of metal detectorists in North Shropshire. By helping Shropshire Museums purchase this remarkable find you are working alongside metal detectorists, archaeologists and historians to uncover an important moment in our shared history.

"You will receive a replica coin and a commemorative postcard thanking you for your support. We'll also thank you on our website and Facebook page," said the spokesperson.

Anyone who donates £250 will receive an exclusive replica of the Shropshire Sun Pendant.

The crowdfunder page is