FAKL-BA6262: Medieval lead token

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
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Unique ID: FAKL-BA6262

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Lead unifaced token of Medieval or Post Medieval (1300-1750) date. The face bears a raised pattern in the form of a cross set within ring around its edge.. The surface on the back of the token suggests that it was cast. Diameter 15.9mm, Thickness 1.5mm, Mass 2.42g.

With some justification, Ivor Noel Hume described lead tokens as 'that least understood item in the numismatic field' (Artifacts of Colonial America, 1969, 173). He was able to quote exampes ranging in date from a piece bearing the arms of Elizabeth I (1558-1603) to one bearing a date of 1714. That said, other examples come from Medieval contexts, at Trigg Lane, London finds came from deposits of 13th to 15th century date (Milne and Milne, Medieval Waterfront Development at Trigg Lane, London, London and Middlesex Archaeological Society, Special paper No 5, 1982, 102-106, fig.64-64, pl. 73-76,77.). The function of these tokens is also unknown, some resemble coins, but most do not, suggesting that they were not intended to represent money. They appear to have been used along waterfronts (London and Dublin) and it has been suggested that they may have been used as tallies given to workers for each load carried and exchanged for money at the end of the day. They could also have been used as taven tokens so that the bar staff did not get to handle cash.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Middle
Period from: MEDIEVAL
Subperiod to: Middle
Period to: MODERN
Date from: Circa AD 1300
Date to: Circa AD 1750

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Thickness: 1.5 mm
Weight: 2.42 g
Diameter: 15.9 mm

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Dr Kevin Leahy
Identified by: Dr Kevin Leahy

Other reference numbers

Other reference: Birm 565

Materials and construction

Primary material: Lead
Manufacture method: Cast
Completeness: Complete

Numismatic data

No numismatic data has been recorded for this coin yet.

Spatial metadata

Region: West Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Staffordshire (County)
District: Stafford (District)
Parish or ward: Eccleshall (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SJ8527
Four figure Latitude: 52.84029941
Four figure longitude: -2.22412774
1:25K map: SJ8527
1:10K map: SJ82NE
Grid reference source: Centred on field
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: FAKL
Created: 5 months ago
Updated: 4 months ago

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