Appeal for information on theft of Anglo-Saxon coins

Published: Wednesday 1st February 2012 Author:

An example of one of the stolen coinsSt Albans City & District Council is appealing for information following the theft of a number of rare Saxon silver coins from a locked display cabinet in the Medieval Gallery at the Museum of St Albans.

Around 30 coins, with an insurance value in the region of £12,000, were taken on or around the weekend of 7 January 2012. The display case was tampered with and the locks broken. A sixth or seventh century silver hand pin, discovered in excavations at St Albans Abbey, was also taken from the same case.

The coins were part of a hoard of Saxon silver coins found at the Abbey Orchard in St Albans in 1969 during an excavation by the St Albans & Hertfordshire Architectural & Archaeological Society within the area of the monastic buildings attached to St Albans Abbey, prior to construction of the Abbey Primary School.

The museum understands that the coins, buried during a troubled period towards the end of the 9th century, were likely to be the life savings of one individual, who had hoped to return and recover them when the threat of attack had lessened.

The coin hoard contained a selection of Saxon pence and half pence coins. The pence coins are all of the Lunette type, so-called because the moneyer's name appears on and between the two half moon shaped ornaments on the reverse. The one half-penny is of the London monogram reverse type which is usually associated with Alfred's occupation of London in 887.

Richard Shwe, Head of Community Services at St Albans City & District who has responsibility for the museum service said:

"The loss of these items is a blow for the museum, and indeed for local people. The rare silver Saxon coins are part of the heritage of St Albans. We are appealing to the public to let the police know if they are offered any of the items stolen or if they have any information that will lead to their recovery. The Police non-emergency number to call is 101, and the Crimestoppers number is 0800 555 111."

The police are currently investigating the thefts. In the meantime, the Council has closed the upstairs gallery at St Albans Museum in Hatfield Road until the police have finished their work and the damaged locks are replaced.

The Council has also commissioned a security review of its museums in the aftermath of the incident and is investigating the circumstances of the theft.

PC Dean Carpenter is investigating.

Posted on behalf of Hertfordshire Constabulary

Contact: Sarah Spence 01707 354039

Comments

There are 1 comments on this story.

  • Jonathan wrote @ 16:20:45 on the 1st February 2012. I read about this before. The question is, can anybody access any pictures of these coins from this hoard? People can then make comparrisons to coins sold on Ebay etc and help in that way. I look at ebay all the time and so could easily keep track of such coins.
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