‘Largest collection of Roman civil war coins’ found at Edge Hill

The coins in vessel they were discovered in. Photo by Warwickshire County Council.
The coins in vessel they were discovered in. Photo by Warwickshire County Council.

The largest ever collection of Roman coins from a period of civil war from AD 68-69 was found at an archaeological site near Edge Hill, it has been revealed today (Monday, February 18).

The 78 silver denarii coins were uncovered in a collection of 440 pieces found buried in a ceramic pot during a dig in 2015 but it has only just been made public because of the hoard’s rarity.

One of the silver denarii coins. Photo by Warwickshire County Council.

One of the silver denarii coins. Photo by Warwickshire County Council.

Market Hall Museum in Warwick is hoping to raised £62,000 in four months to acquire the coins from the British Museum to have them displayed alongside the first hoard found in 2008.

Cllr Dave Reilly, portfolio holder for heritage and culture at Warwickshire County Council, said: “This is an amazingly important find for Warwickshire and our Roman past.

“Bringing the hoard back to the county and the Market Hall Museum will mean that Warwickshire’s residents can enjoy them for generations to come.

“The international significance of some of the coins in this hoard will increase visitors not only to Warwick, but the wider county, which can only contribute to our key objective of making the Warwickshire economy vibrant.”

One of the silver denarii coins. Photo by Warwickshire County Council.

One of the silver denarii coins. Photo by Warwickshire County Council.

The Roman coins were buried under the floor of a building 1900 years ago and date back to a time of great upheaval in the empire, known as ‘the year of the four emperors’.

After the death of Nero in AD 68, Galba, Otho, Vitellius and Vespasian were all in power over 18 months with each making their own coins to fund their armies.

Very few of these coins from this turbulent time survive making this hoard particularly rare.

The discovery was declared treasure and has been with the British Museum for formal identification and valuation.

One of the silver denarii coins. Photo by Warwickshire County Council.

One of the silver denarii coins. Photo by Warwickshire County Council.

For the collection to be returned to the Warwick museum, the council has until June to raise the cash – applications have already been submitted to major grant funds, but a minimum of £3,000 needs to be raised locally.

A fundraising evening will be hosted at Market Hall Museum on the evening of Friday, April 5.

Guests can find out more about this new find with experts on hand to answer questions, and for one night only, the pot that the coins were found in and some examples from the previous Roman hoard will be on display, along with other pieces of Roman treasure from the county.

There will also be a raffle and an auction with all proceeds going to the campaign, along with all profits from the tickets and the bar.

One of the silver denarii coins. Photo by Warwickshire County Council.

One of the silver denarii coins. Photo by Warwickshire County Council.

Tickets cost £20 and include a complimentary glass of prosecco on arrival, and canapés. Tickets can be purchased from the museum by calling 01926 412500.

Donations are also welcome from all supporters of Warwickshire heritage, and visitors to the museum.

Donation boxes in Market Hall will be specially re-branded with all proceeds from March 1.

Warwickshire Museum Service is also calling out to local businesses for prizes for the auction and raffle, anyone wishing to donate a prize should contact louisejennings@warwickshire.gov.uk