Currency Bars

Contributed by Malvern Museum of Local History

Currency bars have long been regarded as tokens used by Iron Age tribes in exchange for goods.

"For money they use bronze or gold coins, or iron bars of fixed weights." Julius Caesar 54 BC

Two workmen were excavating a site above the Wyche Road in Malvern for gravel in 1856 when they uncovered a hoard of 150 rusted iron bars. Three of these are on loan from Worcestershire County Museum.

Research into the manufacture of iron bars has revealed that they were high status objects. It would take 25 man-days to produce 1 kg of finished bar from 100kg of charcoal. Most bars are shaped with a small socket at one end, possibly to demonstrate the quality of the iron used.

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