A LARGE hoard of coins has been unearthed in Herefordshire.
Metal detectorist Dave Cliffton, along with other members of his club Crusade with a Spade, unearthed 350 coins, mostly silver but one gold, on August 28.
Mr Cliffton made the discovery whilst investigating a signal that indicated the presence of iron. Initially, only a horseshoe was uncovered, but on digging further, he found a vast number of historic coins buried in the earth.
Over a period of four hours, Crusade with a Spade recovered 335 coins, with 15 more being dug up the next day.
A spokesperson for the club said: “The coins are from the reigns of three successive monarchs, Elizabeth the first being the earliest.
“Then James the first and finally Charles the first. It’s almost certain that they went into the ground at the time of the English Civil War when King Charles was frantically rallying his forces in many parts of the country including Herefordshire.
“Dave and his club members have come up with three possible scenarios as to how the coins were deposited.
“A royalist payroll is a strong possibility being used to pay the much-harassed troops of the Kings army.
“Parliamentary booty as in Cromwells troops' ill-gotten gains buried to come back to later is another possibility.
“Lastly a rich landowner possibly deposited it before saddling his horse and riding off to do battle either for King most likely or the pretender.
“The mind boggles and maybe you can come up with your own reasons why the silver and gold lay in the damp earth for all those years from the strife that was England in the sixteen forties.”
They added: “Dave is ever so grateful to the people who founded Crusade with a Spade club in 2020 for giving him and everyone involved the chance to save this amazing history from such troubled times.
“Friends Andrew, Pod and Ryan founded the club in order to follow their own passion but also to help others come along and possibly achieve their dreams. They are just three good old Herefordshire lads doing what they love.”
Under the Treasure Act 1996 all objects over 300 years old and containing more than 10 per cent of precious metal are classified treasure.
Those who find items believed to be historical treasures are legally required to hand them in. Not reporting a treasure carries an unlimited fine or up to three months in prison.