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30.01.2021

Chew Valley Hoard

Chew Valley The treasure is a hoard of 2,528 coins from the mid-11th century, shortly after the Norman conquest of England in 1066 The treasure was found in Chew Valley, Somerset, England, in 2019 It is one of the largest finds of Norman coins in Britain.

The treasure was discovered by metal detectors Lisa Grace and Adam Staples in January 2019. 

The treasure consists of 2,528 silver coins, including 1,236 Harold II and 1,310 William I coins. There are several mules on the coins. Mules are coins that have the head of one king on one side and another king on the other.

The exact purpose of the hoard is unknown, but it has been speculated that some of the coins may represent an attempt to avoid taxes in effect at the time by reusing designs from earlier coins. Some of the coins may have come from previously unknown mints. 

The likely burial date of the hoard is 1067-1068, just a year or two after the Norman Conquest, and may reflect the instability of the country at the time.  In 1067 Edric Wilde rebelled with the Welsh rulers of Gwynedd and Powys and attacked Hereford; in 1068 William the Conqueror besieged Exeter; and later, in 1068, the sons of the deposed King Harold, Godwin and Edmund, returned from Ireland and raided the coast around the mouth of the Avon and parts of Somerset. The latter event may have been the immediate impetus for the burial of the treasure.

As of August 2019, a coroner's inquest into the treasure has not yet been conducted to determine the status of the hoard. The investigation could declare the coins a treasure and therefore become the property of the Crown. Under the provisions of the Treasure Act of 1996, a museum may purchase the treasure at a price set by the Treasure Appraisal Committee, with the purchase price being passed jointly to the finder and the landowner as a reward. It has been estimated that the treasure could be worth £5 million. 

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