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04.01.2021

Hexham Hoard

Hexham Hoard is a ninth-century treasure of eight thousand copper alloy coins of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria , which were discovered while a grave was dug to be near Hexhaugh Abbey in 1832.

The treasure was discovered on October 15, 1832, while the grave of a man named William Errington was in the ground on the west side of the north transept of Hexhaugh Abbey by a sexton and his assistant. The area outside the church where the grave was dug was known as Campey Hill and at that time had only recently become part of the burial ground. The grave itself was dug unusually deep, which struck the coin vessel. The janitor, Mr. Airy, realized the potential importance of the find and stopped the entire collection from being dispersed; however, much of the hoard was lost before it could be examined. The coins were in a bronze bucket that had been broken upon discovery; it was acquired by the British Museum, which later reconstructed it. The treasure was originally published and catalogued by antiquary John Adamson. Other specimens were recorded when the tomb was rediscovered in 1841.

The Hexham treasure trove consisted of approximately eight thousand Northumbrian stiches. They included specimens from the reigns of three kings Eanred , Ethelred II and Redwulf , as well as coins from two archbishops Inbald and Wigmund. There were additional coins in the hoard whose ownership of a particular issuer is difficult to clarify and they are known as "non-standard" coins.

There are no Osbert or Archbishop Wulfher coins in the collection. The CS Lyon numismatist has suggested that the hoard was hidden either during the reign of Redwulf or during the second reign of Ethelred II, giving a date of concealment around 845; historian Hugh Pagan dates the concealment to the second reign of Ethelred II.

Elizabeth Pirie , who created a typology of coinage, conducted a study of sticks from Hexham as well as other hoards, including Kirkoswald, Bolton Percy, and several finds from York.

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