The coins of medieval England are far more standardised than many of their early medieval forebears, and give details of the issuing mints and, until the late 13th century, the moneyer of the coins. Over 20,000 medieval coins have now been recorded by the Portable Antiquities Scheme and they have become an extremely important resource to explore the economic and monetary history of this country.
Quite a number of medieval coins have also been found bent and pierced and these coins can tell us about ways in which people used coins in a more symbolic way. For instance, the bending of coins may be related to pilgrimage and promises to the saint. It is vital that we know such information, and shows that all medieval coins, regardless of condition, are important and should be recorded and studied.
This guide has developed over several years and will continue to do so over time. It provides an introduction to the coins of the period, a visual aid to identification of coins commonly found in England and Wales, and will allow for easy searching of the database. You can search on any medieval ruler in England from William the Conqueror to Henry VII (1066-1509) and a number of foreign rulers, including the kings of Scotland. You can also search by the coins themselves, from broader categories of coins, divided into the major groupings of coins, providing information on a wide range of types in a single search to individual coin types or mints.
From the late 13th century, the range of denominations increasing greatly with both gold and small silver fractions (halfpennies and farthings) regularly issued. You can search these by denomination.