Entire Seaton Down Hoard of Roman coins to go on show

Curator Tom Cadbury with a coin from the Seaton Down hoard.

Curator Tom Cadbury with a coin from the Seaton Down hoard. - Credit: Archant

All 22,888 coins found by a metal detecorist to be displayed at Exeter’s Royal Albert Museum from Saturday, July 1

The entire Seaton Down Hoard – 22,888 Roman coins – is to go on public show for the first time this weekend

The coins were buried on a hillside overlooking the resort around AD 350 and discovered in November 2013 by metal detectorist Laurence Egerton.

They will be on permanent display in the Making History gallery at Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (RAMM) from Saturday (July 1),

Conservation work began on the coins in July 2016. Talks, Roman roadshows, museum events, special workshops, gallery tours and other events have been enjoyed by more than 15,000 people from Devon and further afield. The Roman Roadshow has visited 46 schools in the region, helping 4,276 children to explore the hoard. Almost 100 volunteers have helped clean Roman coins for the display in RAMM.

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People who have had the opportunity to see some of the coins close up include students from Seaton Primary School and Colyton Grammar School.

The Hoard contains more than 1,000 different coin types of different ages ranging from AD260 to 348.

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They were made in different places across a wide area including the present day Egypt, Syria, Greece, Italy, Croatia and London.

The coins would have been accepted in countries across the Roman Empire and would have been of similar value to a present-day pound coin.

In Roman times, the coins would have been the only means of regular mass communication.

They contained propaganda messages such as Gloria Exercitus, meaning ‘the army will protect you’. The coins also contain symbols and messages indicating that Christianity was beginning to be accepted by the Romans.

Camilla Hampshire, museum manager said: “We’re so pleased to have the Seaton Down Hoard on permanent display. These amazing coins will be at RAMM for generations to enjoy, wonder at, and be inspired by.”

Thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and generous donations from Pat and Sally Long, Clinton Devon Estates and many members of the public, the coins have been conserved and will be displayed alongside RAMM’s other Roman objects.

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