Exhibit reveals how ancient Yorkshire savers hid their money underground

Hordes of ancient coins that were safely hidden under Yorkshire soil centuries ago have been collected for a new display in Leeds.

The historic coin caches have each been sparingly buried underground for safekeeping to be discovered hundreds of years later, and will illustrate one of the many different ways people have secured their savings throughout of human history.

The trio of treasures are between 470 and over 2,000 years old and will be on display at the Leeds City Museum as part of Money Talks, a new exhibition opening tomorrow (February 11) that explores our changing relationship with the ‘silver.

They include the Boston Spa Hoard, consisting of 172 silver denarii dating from around 119 BC. BC under the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. On loan to Leeds from the Yorkshire Museum, they are thought to have been buried around the 2nd century AD and were discovered during building work at Boston Spa, having been carefully hidden in a ceramic pot.

Also on display will be the famous Cridling Stubbs Hoard, a remarkable store of copper coins which may have been concealed by the owner in a large jar around the year 346 in an effort to protect the riches within from Saxon raiders and Irish.

The coins include specials honoring Rome and Constantinople as well as Roman Emperors Constantine the Great and the Caesars and were discovered at Cridling Stubbs in the parish of Womersley in North Yorkshire in 1967.

They will be displayed alongside the Temple Newsam Hoard, a 200 shillings silver and sixpence pot found by coal miners working on the Leeds estate in 1959. They were buried during the English Civil War, probably for safekeeping out of the hands of enemy soldiers. Another hoard from the same period was also found at Temple Newsam in 1905.

Kat Baxter, Curator of Archeology and Numismatics at Leeds Museums and Galleries, said: ‘Coin hoards really spark our imaginations because we can speculate on all sorts of exciting reasons and scenarios that have led people to bury their wealth accumulated in the ground centuries ago for us. find.

“Although we can never know for sure how or why they were buried, it is likely that whoever hid them under the ground in the past did so in order to protect their precious money.

“It’s a fascinating step in our ever-changing relationship with money and shows how collecting money and keeping it safe in any way possible has been a common thread throughout thousands of years of human history.”

In addition to coin treasures, Money Talks will explore topics such as how money was used in toys and games, the evolution of banking, and different examples of currency used around the world.

This exhibition is sponsored by the Leeds Building Society which was founded in 1875 by people working together to save and bring home ownership within reach for generation after generation.

Councilor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s Executive Member for Economy, Culture and Education, said: ‘These coin hoards make up an exciting story and demonstrate the spectacular wealth of history buried beneath our feet at Leeds and Yorkshire.

“It is inspiring to see an exhibition capture so many facets of our relationship with money and display such a spectacular array of objects from the world-class collection of Leeds Museums and Galleries.”

Money Talks opens at Leeds City Museum on February 11 and will be free to enter. For more details, please visit: https://museumsandgalleries.leeds.gov.uk/events/leeds-city-museum/money-talks

Bonny J. Streater