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Issue 306 – Hordes visit the Hoard

A staggering 2,000 people turned up to see the first ever public viewing of the Frome Hoard of Roman coins – with one visitor coming forward with another potentially exciting find.

Experts from Somerset County Council and the British Museum were on hand at Frome Library as a huge range of people, from schoolchildren, to grannies and granddads, queued patiently for their turn to look and handle some of the rare coins.
The hoard – thought to contain 52,000 coins dating back to around 300AD was uncovered by metal detector user, Dave Crisp, on farmland close to Frome.
An inquest declared the find ‘Treasure’ – which means that after it is valued, Dave Crisp, and Geoff, the landowner, will split any fee which could be upwards of £100,000. The exact location of the site where the hoard was discovered is not being released and so the landowner’s full name is not being publicised.
Tom Mayberry, Somerset County Council’s group manager for heritage and libraries said, “This is a fantastic demonstration of just how interested people are in their local history. It was right to hold the very first public event here in Frome so that local people can see it.”
Tom added, “We need to work now to raise the money to buy the hoard and ensure it holds pride of place in the new Museum of Somerset. The coins really must remain in Somerset so we will be approaching national and local sources of funding.”
The hoard contained rare coins dating back to the Emperor Carausius and it is thought by museum experts to be an offering to the gods from a community. At the time it would have been the equivalent of up to 10 times a soldier’s annual salary.
Dave Crisp, finder of the ‘Frome Hoard’, said, “It has been absolutely fantastic that so many people have turned up today! It’s wonderful that people from Frome and from outside the town, have shown so much interest in coming along today. It’s a marvellous find, which people are obviously keen to see.”
And as people queued for up to 45 minutes to take their turn at the coins display, one person walked in with a new find. Experts want to keep quiet about the details until it has been verified, but Somerset County Council can reveal the find includes a coin dating back to 600AD and potentially extremely rare – again, it was found by a metal detector user in the east of Somerset.
Steve Minnitt, head of museums at Somerset County Council said, “This would be the icing on the cake.”
It is hoped that further public events to display the coins will be arranged in Frome and across Somerset over the next few months.

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