More coins from late Roman period unearthed in Ribble Valley

Amateur metal detectorists who last month uncovered a huge horde of ancient Roman coins have discovered even more on a further dig.

By Dominic Collis
Friday, 25th February 2022, 8:46 am

The Clitheroe Advertiser revealed last month that the talented members of Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley Dectorists Club unearthed 83 coins and two bracelets during a dig at a farm near Gisburn on Saturday.

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Awe-struck detectorists unearth huge hoard of Roman coins and jewellery in Ribbl...

Member Andrew Smith from Clitheroe said: "We think that they are from quite late in the Roman period, probably from 300-400 AD as the quality is not very good. Hopefully we can return to the farm in the summer and be able to dig deeper down to see if there are any more."

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Some of the coins discovered in Gisburn, believed to date from 300-400 AD

The period of 300-400 AD is seen as late Roman Britain. Urban life had generally grown less intense by the fourth quarter of the 4th century, and coins minted between 378 and 388 are very rare, indicating a likely combination of economic decline, diminishing numbers of troops, problems with the payment of soldiers and officials or with unstable conditions during the usurpation of Magnus Maximus 383–87.

Towards the end of the 4th century, Britain came under increasing pressure from barbarian attacks, and there were not enough troops to mount an effective defence. After elevating two disappointing usurpers, the army chose a soldier, Constantine III, to become emperor in 407.

The coins found in Gisburn of various types have now been handed over to the local Finds Liaison Officer who will inform the local coroner and commence the treasure case. However at this stage he doesn't believe the bracelets are silver.

Speaking about the earlier find, Andrew said: "This could be the biggest hoard of Roman coins ever found in the Ribble Valley. We will have further details on the coins and the two bracelets when the treasure case starts moving forward, but this is a significant and exciting find.

The detectorists on the original dig near Gisburn

"It was two of our members Andrew Winter and Andy Bijsterbosch who came across the hoard. With assistance from club marshals and admins, we eventually unearthed a huge haul.

The club chairman Jon Ferguson and his team have had numerous hoard and treasure cases over the past few years from all over the Ribble Valley.

Members meet every first Tuesday of the month at the New Inn pub in Clitheroe.

Two of the Roman-era bracelets discovered