Halesworth and District Museum is shortly to take possession of a hoard of 19 Iron Age coins unearthed by a metal detectorist near Blythburgh in 2019. They include one coin never before seen. Dating from between 60BC and 25AD, many of the coins feature images of animals and strange symbols: ‘hidden faces’ or eyebrows, wheels, plants and swirling patterns. A number are of a style seen in other coins of the Trinovantes of Essex-South Suffolk and several echo the style of the Cantiaci of Kent. Their presence in Blythburgh raises interesting questions.
Halesworth Museum on a summer’s day
The acquisition comes at the end of a very successful campaign to raise the £16,000 price set on the hoard by the British Museum under the 1996 Treasure Act rules. While significant grants were secured from the V & A Purchase Grant Fund, the Headley Trust and the Suffolk Institute for Archaeology and History, the Museum ventured into its as yet most ambitious attempt at crowdfunding, using both traditional means – leaflets, appeals to the Museum’s Friends organisation and local publicity – and an on-line ‘Just Giving’ campaign.
With an initial target of £2,000 for local funding, the Museum was delighted to raise well over £5,000 by this mix of tactics.