Beds, Herts & Bucks

Lenborough Anglo Saxon coin hoard pledges reach £12,000

Lenborough hoard Image copyright British Museum
Image caption The hoard is being valued at the British Museum

A museum fighting to keep a hoard of Anglo Saxon coins in the county where it was found has attracted £12,000 in donation pledges

More than 5,000 coins were found buried in Lenborough, near Padbury, Buckinghamshire, a year ago.

The hoard was declared treasure by an inquest in November and is now at the British Museum awaiting valuation.

Once this is known, trustees will decide whether the Bucks County Museum has enough money to buy the collection.

They hope the public support will boost the museum's chances of getting grants from funding bodies.

Brett Thorn from the museum said: "It's a fantastic start."

The 5,251 coins were found wrapped in a lead sheet by Weekend Wanderers Detecting Club member Paul Coleman, from Southampton, on 21 December last year.

Image copyright The Trustees of the British Museum
Image caption Coins depict the heads of kings Ethelred the Unready and Canute and come from 40 different mints around England
Image copyright The Trustees of the British Museum
Image caption A total of 5,251 coins were found during a metal-detecting rally

It is the largest Anglo Saxon coin hoard discovered since the Treasure Act was introduced in 1996 and is thought to be worth up to £1.3m.

An appeal for pledges was launched in August to assess the amount of local support for the museum to buy them once the value was known.

"It looks good to funding bodies if they can see significant local support," said Mr Thorn.

Once an official valuation is determined, the museum, and the finder and landowner get a chance to comment on it, before the Treasure Valuation Committee decides on the final value.

Mr Thorn said: "Once we know how much it will be, our trustees will make a decision as to whether or not we are going to try to raise the money.

"Hopefully we will be able to, as we feel it is important to keep this in Buckinghamshire, and keep it available in public hands for future research.

"If it's a 'yes' our fundraising will begin in earnest, as we'll be doing our best to promote it across the county, and get everyone behind keeping it safe."

Image copyright British Museum
Image caption The coins could be worth £1.3m, according to some estimates
Image copyright The Trustees of the British Museum
Image caption The coins were found wrapped in a lead sheet

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