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The Frome Hoard – The largest pot of Roman coins ever found in Britain

Sam Moorhead
Silver siliqua of Gratian (AD 367-83) found by Dave Crisp © Somerset County Council

Silver siliqua of Gratian (AD 367-83)  © Somerset County CouncilIn April 2010, Dave Crisp started to find some late Roman silver coins scattered across a field near Frome – these 62 coins represent a scattered hoard, probably from the same find as 111 similar coins found on the farm in 1867.

However, in pursuit of these coins he had an unusual signal.  He dug down 18 inches to find some pottery and coins; he realised that this was the top of a coin hoard so he stopped and filled the hole in.  This was incredibly responsible behaviour that cannot be praised enough.

Dave immediately contacted his Finds Liaison Officer in Wiltshire, Katie Hinds, who then contacted her opposite number in Somerset, Anna Booth.  Somerset County Heritage Service quickly organised for a local archaeologist, Alan Graham, to lead on the excavation of the hoard.  Between April 23rd and 25th, Alan, the FLOs, Dave Crisp and members of the landowner’s family excavated the hoard.  I first heard about the hoard during the excavation, when Katie Hinds informed me that the pot was about 25 inches in diameter – it was then that we realised that this hoard was comparable with the Cunetio hoard of 54,951 coins (found in Wiltshire in 1978).

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