Progress made in raising thousands of pounds to buy Roman coin hoard for Warwick museum

Progress is being made in raising thousands of pounds to buy a Roman coin hoard to display at a museum in Warwick.

Warwickshire County Council’s Museum Service has been successful in raising a total of £44,000 – £30k from the V&A Purchase Grant Fund and £14k from the Art Fund – towards the purchase of the major Roman hoard, found recently in Warwickshire.

The big push is now on to raise a further £18k to meet the £62k target to “Bring the Hoard Home” to Warwickshire, with £3K to be raised locally.

The hoard made up of 440 silver denarii coins was uncovered during an archaeological dig at a Roman site on the Edge Hill in 2015. They were buried in a ceramic pot over 1900 years ago, under the floor of a building.

This is the second hoard of denarii to be found in this area and this new discovery contains 78 coins dating to AD 68-69, a turbulent time in Roman history known as the ‘Year of the Four Emperors.’

This important period is known as the ‘Year of the Four Emperors’, when the death of Nero in AD 68 sparked a civil war, resulting in four successive rulers in a short span of time: Galba, Otho, Vitellius and finally Vespasian.

As they vied for power, each contender struck their own coins to fund their armies, and these coins are incredibly rare.

Within a roughly 18 month period the title of Emperor changed hands four times. Very few of these coins from this turbulent time survive, The second South Warwickshire hoard contains the largest collection of civil war-era coins ever found.

To help reach the target a fundraising evening will be hosted at Market Hall Museum on Friday April 5, 7pm-10pm. There will be an opportunity to hear from Dr Stanley Ireland of the University of Warwick, who catalogued the first South Warwickshire Hoard, and a rare chance to see the pot that the coins were found in and some examples from the previous Roman hoard, along with other treasures from Roman Warwickshire.

During the evening a raffle and auction will be held with all proceeds going to the campaign, along with all profits from the tickets and the bar. Local businesses have also been donating amazing prizes.

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.

The donation boxes have been specially branded within the museum with all proceeds up to Fundraiser on April 5 going towards the appeal.

Councillor Dave Reilly, portfolio holder for environment and heritage and culture, said: “This is an amazingly important find for Warwickshire and our Roman past. I am delighted with the response so far from Warwickshire residents and businesses they have really got behind the campaign! I am also very grateful to the V&A Purchase Grant Fund and the Art Fund for their generous contributions.

"We still have some way to go but, with the fundraising evening and the donations at the museum, I am confident that we will “Bring the Hoard Home” for Warwickshire’s residents and visitors to enjoy for generations to come.”

Any businesses wishing to donate a prize for the auction and raffle can contact email: louisejennings@warwickshire.gov.uk