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23.02.2021

Ham Green Hoard

In 1981, 86 silver coins buried in a clay clay bottle were found under the pantry floor of a cottage in Ham Green, Redditch. The treasure was declared a treasure and acquired by the Worcestershire County Museum Service.

The treasure represents a typical pattern of coinage used in England in the mid-seventeenth century and contains mostly shillings and sixpence coins, as well as two modern forgeries from the reign of Philip and Mary (1554-58) to those of Charles II. It dates from 1661-2. It is likely that the coins were stored in the early years of Charles II's reign, and it appears that the pot neck, inside which the coins were hidden, was broken to allow the largest coins to pass through it.

The coins cover a fascinating and tumultuous period in our county's history, including the first and last battles of the Civil War, the execution of Charles I, Charles II's escape from Worcester in 1651, and his restoration to the throne less than a decade later.

One half of Charles I's crown, minted around 1644-56 and marked with a W, showing a mint (probably Worcester), is the product of one of several extraordinary Civil War mints established by Royalists during the Civil War to ensure that they were able to pay for their military and logistical needs at a time when the money circulation was compromised. A similar mint was also established at Hartlebury Castle, home of the Bishop of Worcester.

We will never know the reason these coins were hidden some ten years after the Battle of Worcester and the end of the English Civil War, but the stories the coins tell are fascinating nonetheless.

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