Ancient coins to go on display at King’s Lynn Museum

Sceattas at the King's Lynn Museum ANL-150326-105513001

Sceattas at the King's Lynn Museum ANL-150326-105513001

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Lynn Museum has new exhibits on show – ancient coins dug up in the Downham area by metal detectorists.

The 12 sceatta coins date from about 710AD and are some of the earliest coins found from the Anglo-Saxon period.

They were bought with the help of the Friends of the Museum.

The cost, running into several hundred pounds, was met half by the Friends and half by a grant given by the Victoria & Albert Museum.

The coins were declared treasure trove following a hearing before the Norfolk coroner after they were discovered.

Oliver Bone, museum curator, said: “These are very early silver coins. They are very tiny and very interesting with a stylised pattern on. They have no monarch’s face on.”

Their name derives from Old English sceatt meaning ‘wealth, money, coin’, which has been applied to these coins since the 17th century.

“It is likely, however, that the coins were more often known to contemporaries as pennies (Old English peningas), much like later Anglo-Saxon silver coins. They are very diverse, organised into over a hundred types.

The coins were brought back to Lynn this week and quickly placed in a display case in the foyer for visitors to examine.

Mr Bone said: “They are an important addition to our 
collection because they tell a part of the area’s story that we have not been able to tell 
before.”