Norman silver penny

Contributed by Cornwall Museums

THIS OBJECT IS PART OF THE PROJECT 'A HISTORY OF CORNWALL IN 100 OBJECTS'.

LAWRENCE HOUSE MUSEUM LAUNCESTON. A thousand years ago Cornwall minted its own coins. This penny shows William I who built a motte and bailey castle at Launceston to subdue the Cornish. Launceston, Barnstaple and Exeter were among the 68 mints that William used to get his message across after the Norman conquest in 1066. St Stephen's mint at Launceston may go back to 928 and ceased operating sometime between 1158 and 1180.

There was then a long gap before Cornwall started striking her own coins again. In 1642-3, during the Civil War, John Parnell minted silver crowns for the Royalist cause at Truro. After this war, small change was in short supply so tokens were struck by innkeepers and shopkeepers in most Cornish towns and large villages. Later in the 1790s-1820s mine owners issued their own tokens to their work force. These bore the Cornish motto 'fish tin and copper'.

Photo: Bernie Pettersen

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Location

Cornwall, Launceston

Culture
Period
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Size
W:
1.3cm
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