Splash the cash to get the cash

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Silver coins from a unique Saxon hoard could be coming to MK – if a fundraising campaign to buy them succeeds.

The coins are part of a stash of more than 5,200 discovered in a field at Lenborough, near Buckingham, at the end of 2014.

They were discovered by a metal detectorist, wrapped in a sheet of lead to protect them, and were made in the reigns of Aethelred the Unready and Cnut – often known as Canute – the Great.

If the Bucks Coroner agrees they are treasure Buckinghamshire County Museum, will be offered the chance to buy them – with a pledge to share some of the hoard with their museum partners at Milton Keynes Museum and the Old Gaol in Buckingham.

Explained MKM Director Bill Griffiths: “Anglo-Saxon coins are still being found in England every year but this is a much, much bigger hoard than usual – possibly the third largest ever to be found in England and the most important find locally for some years.

“They are an important part of our local heritage and we are fully supporting the County Museum in its bid to raise the funds to keep them here.

“Our own expansion plans include exhibition material from this time, which makes the discovery of the hoard even more exciting, and demonstrates once again that far from being ‘just’ a new city the Milton Keynes area has a rich and fascinating heritage.”

Although the coins are called pennies, they were much more valuable than a modern penny. Each coin could buy you about the same amount of things as a £20 note would today.

At the moment the County Museum is asking for pledges of financial support rather than cash donations as experts at the British Museum have yet to put a value on the silver coins.

People can make pledges by email to museum@buckscountymuseum.org or by phone to 01296 331441. Please mark any pledges LENBOROUGH HOARD APPEAL.

To mark the start of the pledge campaign a small display of coins is on display in the foyer of the county museum in Aylesbury. Pledges from all over the country and as far afield as the US have already brought to total to £3,000.