£320,250 needed to save Frome Hoard for Somerset

Today, the value of the precious Frome Hoard has been announced at £320,250. We're match-funding public donations to the appeal.

Somerset County Council Heritage Service has until 1 February 2011 to raise the funds in order to keep this important treasure on public display in the county in which it was discovered.

The rare find, made up of 52,503 Roman coins dating from the 3rd century AD, was unearthed tightly packed in a pot and is the largest coin hoard to have been found in a single container.

Today we announced we’re giving £40,250 to kick-start the appeal and it’s the first time we’re offering you – members of the public – the chance to double the value of your donation to the appeal. For every £1 donated, we will match fund it – up to a total value of £10,000. This means you could help boost the appeal with a further £20,000.

Our director Stephen Deuchar said: “We’re extremely excited to be part of Somerset’s campaign to acquire this extraordinary treasure. To think that this pot packed full of coins lay buried beneath the soil for almost 2,000 years – it really is incredible. We need to save the hoard so that experts can carry out vital research – and so that new generations can enjoy and be inspired by it. As a way to encourage philanthropic giving and support from the public, we are also pleased to be offering members of the public the chance to double the value of their donation to the appeal by donating via us.”

Over 760 of the coins belong to the emperor Carausius, a general in the Roman army who usurped against the Central Empire. Carausius set up his own empire in northern Gaul and Britain, and this is the largest group of his coins found anywhere. The entire hoard includes coins minted by 21 emperors and three emperors' wives.

In addition to the target £320,250 needed to acquire the hoard for Somerset, an additional £35,000 will be needed for its long-term conservation.

The first book on the Frome Hoard, written by experts Sam Moorhead, Roger Bland and Anna Booth, and published by the British Museum Press, is now available from 50 pence of every sale will go towards the vital conservation costs. The Frome Hoard tells the remarkable story of the discovery of the hoard, describes the fascinating collection of coins it contains and offers an initial interpretation of the treasure, and its significance. Close-up photographs show intricate details of the amazing coins.

How to donate

To donate towards the appeal to save the hoard for Somerset, please visit the donation page.

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