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Largest Roman coin hoard found in Shropshire returns to county

And the ancient haul, which is classified as treasure worth £25,000 and dating from between 317-335 A.D, will be displayed in Shrewsbury’s new £10.5 million museum and art gallery when it opens later this year.

Shropshire Museums has secured the safekeeping of the 9,236 coins from the British Museum which had been examining, recording and conserving the find since it was uncovered by novice metal detectorist Nic Davies in a field north of Shrewsbury in 2009.

The hoard is now at Ludlow Museum Resource Centre where it is being photographed and catalogued to allow people to study it online.

Then it will be prepared for display at the former music hall site in Shrewsbury.

The collection, which was placed in cloth bags and buried in a large storage jar around 1,700 years ago, was secured thanks to grant aid of £5,000 given by the Headley Trust, the

Victoria & Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund, and The Association for Roman Archaeology.

Council bosses today said it would form the ‘centrepiece’ of a new Roman Gallery at the Shrewsbury museum, which will showcase some of the county’s nationally important Roman finds.

They displays such as this would help boost tourism.

Emma-Kate Lanyon, head of collections for Shropshire Museums, said today: “This hoard is further evidence of how Shropshire was shaped by the arrival of Roman rule.

“Shropshire Museums’ success in securing it for the county helps to further develop their Roman collection which is already one of the best provincial museum collections in the county and can only help to encourage people to visit Shrewsbury and Wroxeter.”

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The coins, which weigh more than 70lb (32kg), are thought to have been produced during the reign of Emperor Constantine.

An inquest in October 2011 heard that most of the coins were bronze Nummi – a common coin in Roman Britain – and the hoard was probably equivalent to less than a year’s pay for a Roman legionary soldier. However the coins may have belonged to one person or a community.

Phil Scoggins, interpretation officer for the Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery project, said it provided a “fascinating snapshot” of Roman life.

Mike Owen, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member responsible for tourism and culture, added: “We are very grateful to all our funders for their support, which helps ensure that everyone can appreciate and learn from remarkable finds such as this for generations to come.”