New 8th century coins help Lynn Museum fill gap in the region’s history

Coins on show at Lynn Museum: Submitted

Coins on show at Lynn Museum: Submitted - Credit: Archant

A west Norfolk museum has acquired some exciting new objects, with 12 early 8th century silver coins now on show.

The coins, known as sceattas, were found near Downham Market and were declared as treasure trove following a hearing before the Norfolk coroner after they were discovered.

Lynn Museum, in Market Street, bought them with money from the Friends of King's Lynn Museums and a grant from the Victoria and Albert Museum.

The coins are continental, being struck in the Frisia area, now the Netherlands, and represent the earliest form of penny.

They are believed to have circulated in England from about 675 to the middle of the eighth century.

Dayna Woolbright, assistant curator at Lynn Museum, said: 'They are important acquisitions as this is a story we were not able to tell before.'

As the coins were scattered over a relatively large area, about 150m by 180m, they could represent a hoard or part of a hoard rather than stray losses over time. Each coin has a stylised pattern on it, but no king's face.

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As there are no English examples among the coins, experts believe they may have come over the sea together, perhaps in the purse of a Frisian merchant, before going into the ground. Lynn Museum is home to Sea Henge, the unique 4,000-year-old timber circle. Have you made an exciting discovery in west Norfolk? Email