The Creslow Hoard text

The Weekend Wanderers three day rally at Creslow Manor in Buckinghamshire was held in August 2003.

The second day got off to a flying start with the discovery of a hoard of 58 medieval pennies. As the hoard of coins was scattered, several people found individual coins and it soon became clear that they had stumbled upon a hoard!

The silver coins are of King Edward I (1272-1307), King Edward II (1307-27) and Edward III (1327-77.) They consist of two denominations, 29 pennies and 27 halfpennies.  There was also one silver penny of King Alexander III of Scotland and one forged coin.

Ground conditions were not ideal. Although the field looks level, that particular summer was very hot and dry. The farmer had real problems rolling the soil that had been earlier cultivated leaving brick sized hard baked lumps of earth on the surface. The roller just bounced over those lumps having little or no effect and leaving us with an ankle turning surface to contend with.

Finding the first few hammered coins was enough to indicate a hoard though so marshal Dave Phillips took control of the proceedings by cordoning off the area in order to protect the finder's scattered hoard from further dispersal.

What the finders had come across were stray coins from the main group or hoard. The farm owner with his front loader assisted in scraping of layers of hardened soil. Other detectorists located more strays from the spoil heaps but the main group of coins was now exposed. It appears that the original stash had been disturbed by past field work, hence the broad scatter.

Hand of coins

No pottery was found in the excavation so it is assumed that the coins were maybe contained in a leather bag or purse, intentionally  hidden or even just lost.

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The Creslow hoard appears to be a single deposit made sometime in the 1350’s. It is possible that the silver coins could be  the contents of a purse and perhaps even represents savings or a reserve fund.

The spending power of the 58 coins at the time was 3 shillings, 8½ pence that is if you include the counterfeit penny and the Scottish coin too. This was a sum equivalent to something like £50-£100 in modern times.