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Monday, 7 May 2012

Coins found at Diss. Norfolk


As I have mentioned on this blog many times previous, as much time goes into (or should do) in research as much time as you spend Metal Detecting. There is nothing better on those cold winter nights in getting a book or some old maps out and doing your research. Some of my best finds have come after researching old farms etc. This might be in locating an Old Roman Road or a lane with a strange name. Many of these names were named after events or to mark locations going back hundreds of years.

I often find myself studying old archaeological reports to get a feeling for an area. In these reports you often hear of large hoard finds. One I came across recently I've copied below. This dates back to the middle of the 1800's.

Coins Found at Diss Report 1867
Communicated by the Rev C.R.Manning MA (Hon Secretary)

In the early part of the year 1871 some considerable alterations were made to a house situated in Mount Street, Diss, at about 100 yards North of the Church, since occupied by B Button Esq. The workmen employed by Mr C Bishop, Builder, were removing the brick flooring of one of the ground-rooms and excavating the soil beneath in order to insert the joists of a boarded floor, when they discovered the coin of hoards, which is the subject of this notice. The house itself is a brick one, of no great antiquity, having probably been rebuilt within the last 200 years; but no doubt it occupies the site of an older one, probably of a timber house of the same date and class
as some others yet remaining in the town of Diss. - as Mr Leathers', corn-merchant, St Nicholas Street and Mr Abbotts' bookseller, Mere Street, houses of the 15th Century. Beneath the bricks they came upon the original hard clay floor, and in the centre of the room, at about 18 inches from the surface, the remains of an earthen vessel were found, containing coins to the number of more than three hundred.

On Mr Bishop being informed of the discovery he obtained possession of most of them, and has kindly allowed me to catalogue them. I have seen a few more that passed into the possession of other persons in the town, and on the whole the list is a tolerably complete one. There are no coins earlier than the reign of Henry IV., and possibly none as early, nor any later than that of Edward IV. It was just about the time the church of Diss. must have gone extensive alterations by the rebuilding of the aisles, side chapels and chancel, probably by Philippa widow of Robert Fitz Walter (and secondly by Edward Plantagenet, Duke of York) who held the manor in the dower, 1415-31;
and as some substantial houses were also then erected in the town, it must have been a time of some activity in the place. For what reason this money was concealed it is, of course, impossible to say. It was safely stowed away beneath the floor, till those who could have revealed it passed away, and there it has remained while generations have lived and died above its hiding place, all unconscious of its story for four hundred years. It will be seen that, with the exception of 2 fine gold nobles, all the coins are silver. None appear to be
particularly rare, but the varieties are rather numerous, and having been evidently all deposited at the same time, and belonging to a limited range of years, it has been thought desirable that our society should preserve a list of them.

The gold coins and the groats are mostly in very good preservation; but the pennies appear to have been much more in circulation, and are all more or less defaced. The description of some of these may, therefore, be incomplete, in consequence of their obliteration.

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