Medieval coins unearthed during community dig in Erpingham
- Credit: Archant
Medieval coins unearthed during a community dig in Erpingham at the weekend could help support a fundraising campaign to celebrate the village's role in one of the country's greatest military victories.
The Battle of Agincourt, which took place on October 25, 1415 in the County of Saint-Pol, Artois, was a major English victory in the Hundred Years' War between England and France.
Sir Thomas Erpingham, who was born in the village near Aylsham which bears his name, was an English knight who became famous as the commander of King Henry V's longbow wielding archers. He was immortalised as a character in the play Henry V by William Shakespeare.
And now villagers have launched a £50,000 fundraising campaign to buy the field next to the village hall where his manor house, complete with moat, once stood.
The group behind the project - the Sir Thomas Erpingham Manor Trust - hosted an archaeological dig at the site in Erpingham on Saturday to highlight their plans, with local school children digging a small test trench during the fun day, which also featured re-enactment displays and finds from the 2015 excavation.
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As well as purchasing the land, the volunteers hope to run an educational programme to celebrate the village's links with Sir Thomas Erpingham.
Project secretary Ann Goreham said: 'We are so pleased with the turnout for the dig. The main artefacts discovered were two quite large coins, bearing a design which appears to be the 'shield of France'; initial research by our archaeologist suggests that they are French Jetton coins from late 14th or early 15th century - precisely the time when Sir Thomas Erpingham was fighting in France.
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'Presumably currency left over after supplies for men and horses had been purchased, or maybe simply plundered, and dropped upon his return home to Norfolk afterwards for rest and recuperation.
'They are great finds, and an interesting contrast to the much smaller English sterling jetton coin, again dating from 14th century, discovered at the 2015 dig.' And she added: 'We anticipate that future, more extensive digs - once the Manor Project is fully funded - will reveal many more fragments of medieval life and times.'