Bolton Percy Coin Hoard

Bolton Percy Coin Hoard

Click here to see a short film about the Bolton Percy Coin Hoard.

One weekend in autumn 1967 two Bolton Percy schoolboys found coins in a field close to the village. The discovery lead to further investigation which uncovered a total of 1775 of the small copper coins and a ceramic pot. The discovery of the hoard generated lots of excitement and made it into the local newspapers.

Research into the 1967 find uncovered a previous discovery of a much larger hoard of coins found, more than likely, in the same field by farm worker William Foster laying a drainage ditch in 1846. Collectively both finds are now labelled the Bolton Percy Coin Hoard.

Coins from the 1846 discovery are now to be found across the World being bought and sold by collectors and appear for sale on a regular basis.

The Bolton Percy Hoard remains one of the largest early medieval hoards ever found in the region, containing thousands of the small copper coins of the type (pictured above) which circulated in the 800s AD. A number of Kings and Archbishops are named on the coins including Osberht, the last Anglian king before the arrival of the Vikings in York in 867. Coin hoards were often deposited in times of uncertainty and the arrival of the Vikings would certainly have caused huge upheaval in the region. The Viking obsession with silver could also provide a good reason for the non-recovery of the hoard, as the copper-alloy coinage had very little value to the incoming Viking population. Fortunately a large number of the coins found in 1967 were purchased by York Museums Trust (YMT), such is their historical significance, and are now preserved there for all to see.

On occasions the YMT bring some of the coins back to Bolton Percy as part of their Local Links programme. The picture below is that of YMT representative Adam Parker and his stand at the Bolton Percy Village Fete, June 14th 2014.

The Friends of All Saints continue to work closely with YMT so that awareness of the coins and their discovery is maintained in the local community and beyond for the foreseeable future. For more details on The Bolton Percy Hoard please contact The Friends of All Saints Bolton Percy via their email address or go direct to the York Museums Trust via their website

This article on The Bolton Percy Coin Hoard was written by Alan Swain (York) in agreement with the York Museums Trust.