The hoard was discovered on farmland in the south of the county by a group of metal detecting friends in 2015 and reported to the British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme.
After being declared treasure under the Treasure Act (1996), it was acquired by Shropshire Museum Service in 2018 with funding from the V&A Purchase Grant Fund, Headley Trust, and Friends of Ludlow Museum.
The South Ludlow Hoard is now on display at Ludlow Museum at The Buttercross.
The hoard is relatively small, with 20 coins being recovered. The youngest (newest) coin dating 1561 early in Elizabeth I reign. There are coins within the group of Henry VIII and all of his children; Edward VI, Mary, and Elizabeth I. This reflects the effects of having four monarchs within 11 years.
There are also some very well-preserved shillings of Mary and her husband Philip of Spain showing them facing each other separated by a crown. The hoard has a face value of 14 shillings (or the equivalent of a labourer’s salary for around three weeks).
Peter Reavill, finds liaison officer with the Portable Antiquities Scheme, said: “Hoards such as these are not uncommon and this example being found outside the historic town of Ludlow is evidence of its rich and powerful past.
“Ludlow was an important place in the 16th century, being a royal centre – Prince Arthur, 1st son of Henry VIII died in Ludlow Castle in 1502. Such small caches as these are probably either purse losses, or possible secretly stashed money deliberately hidden and never recovered.”
Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council Cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: “The display of the Ludlow Purse Hoard is another example of how the Portable Antiquities Scheme helps museums and metal detectorists to work together to record and preserve Shropshire’s heritage.
“We would like to thank the generous support of the Friends of Ludlow Museum and both the V&A Purchase Grant Fund and Headley Trust who have funded the acquisition of the hoard for Shropshire Museums.”
Lottie James, chairman of the Friends of Ludlow Museum, said: “I would like to thank the individuals who gave generously to enable the purchase of this hoard.”