Back in 2003 a local builder was renovating a house on Lindisfarne when he unearthed a small pottery jug. Thinking it looked old and interesting he put it to one side in the garage and thought no more about it. It was wasn’t until 2011 that he came across it again and found that it actually contained a total of seventeen rare coins

He surrendered the coins to the correct authorities and a recent inquest has declared the ‘hoard’ to be treasure and now Newcastle’s Society of Antiquaries are hoping to raise enough money to purchase them so that they stay in the North-East region. The ten gold and seven silver coins span the reigns of six different English Kings and Queens and come from across Europe. One coin has been found to be a gold scudo of Pope Clement VII, who actually refused to annul the marriage of Henry VIII to his first wife Catherine of Aragon, and is thought to be worth in the region of £30,000 alone.

A silver groat, which was minted in the 1420s, in the reign of Henry VI, is the oldest coin in the collection, and the latest comes from the reign of Elizabeth I being a silver sixpence minted in 1562. In the Elizabethan period the area was primarily used as a military garrison and supply base, so it is possible that the original owner of the coins was an officer who had seen service on the continent.

It has been revealed that local organization have a scant six weeks to raise the required funds, and if they don’t they will move to the British Museum in London.

It just goes to show that whatever you are, whatever job you are involved in, you never know what you might find , so next time you get a bit dirty in your workwear overalls you just might uncover a bit of history.