Dispute in Suffolk over second largest Civil War hoard ever found

Luke Mahoney and his friends discovered the coins near a Suffolk pub Picture:

Luke Mahoney and his friends discovered the coins near a Suffolk pub - Credit: PR Handout - Free to use/MINELAB METAL DETECTORS

Treasure hunters who discovered the "second-largest hoard of its kind found" have disputed the number of coins found, a coroner's court has heard.

Suffolk Coroner's Court in Ipswich ruled the 1,069 silver coins, estimated to be worth £100,000, as treasure, meaning the Civil War find is now the property of the Crown. 

The hoard of coins, mostly deposited in one vessel, dates from the start of Edward VI's reign, 1537, to the end of Charles I's reign in 1625 when he was beheaded following his battles with parliament and Oliver Cromwell. 

During the English Civil War, hoarding was popular according to Anna Booth, a finds liaison officer at Suffolk County Council, who claims it's the second-largest of 24 in its group kind found with a hoard discovered in Ashdon, Essex the largest. 

Friends Luke Mahoney, Daniel Hunt and Matt Brown

Friends Luke Mahoney, Daniel Hunt and Matt Brown - Credit: Joan Allen Metal Detectors/Facebook

Friends Luke Mahoney, Daniel Hunt and Matt Brown stayed up for three nights in July 2020 to guard their find, which they found in the field behind the Lindsey Rose pub, Lindsey, after the landowners, Charlie and James Buckle, granted him permission.

At the coroner's court on Friday, August 13 there was some dispute about how large the find was as the finders led by Mr Mahoney from Joan Allen Metal Detectors thinks some had gone missing. 

The hoard of Civil War coins found behind the Lindsey Rose pub in Lindsey, Suffolk

The hoard of Civil War coins found behind the Lindsey Rose pub in Lindsey, Suffolk - Credit: Joan Allen Metal Detectors/Facebook


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Ms Booth told the court it is a "shame" that the finders believe 11 coins have gone missing or been stolen.

Legal representative for the three friends, Hannah Miles, told Suffolk coroner Nigel Parsley that it had been verified twice and there were 1,080 coins. 

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But Ms Booth told the court her colleague had been under a lot of "pressure" to count them quickly by the medical detectorists on site. 

Museums will have the opportunity to bid for the coins Picture: MINELAB METAL DETECTORS

Museums will have the opportunity to bid for the coins Picture: MINELAB METAL DETECTORS - Credit: MINELAB METAL DETECTORS

Mr Parsley said: "They may have been lost, may have genuinely been taken, or never have existed."

The matter has been referred to Suffolk police to investigate. 

Speaking after the case, Matthew Brown, said: "That was a joke and a disgrace.

"The last bit has soured it."

Mr Mahoney, Mr Hunt and Mr Brown are in line for a finders' fee and hope a museum will be successful in the bid for the find. 

Coins found in Helmingham, four medieval gold angels in Hadleigh and a silver Anglo Saxon brooch fragment were also ruled treasure by Mr Parsley. 

George Ridgway, Swiss Farm Butchers in Ashbocking

George Ridgway, from Swiss Farm Butchers in Ashbocking - Credit: Archant

Hobby metal detectorist George Ridgway, of Swiss Farm Butchers in Ashbocking, found 725 silver and gold Roman and Iron Age coins in 2019 deposited at the time of Emperor Claudius in a field in Lord Tollemache's land in Helmingham.

Mr Ridgway said after the inquest: "We get a reward fee for it but that's not the best thing about it. It's going to [Ipswich Museum] so we can actually go and see it behind glass."

Roger Fletcher was also delighted to find the brooch in Pakenham. 

The brooch found in Suffolk by Roger Fletcher

The brooch found in Suffolk by Roger Fletcher - Credit: Archant

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