Shillington coin hoard by Unknown Artist

A hoard of 123 gold and 7 silver Roman coins.


Gold & silver
Art Fund grant:
£40,000 ( Total: £200,000)
Acquired in:
Department for Culture, Media and Sport

The gold coins represented the largest 1st-century hoard discovered in Britain and one of only a handful of large early-Imperial Roman hoards known in the Empire. The aurei were issued by seven emperors: Tiberius, Claudius, Nero, Galba, Otho, Vittellius and Vespasian. Many rare types are represented among them, along with one unique type. The coins are all in good or very fine condition. The silver coin hoard, recovered a few metres away from the gold coins, contains Republican and Imperial issues, including a coin issued by the emperor Vespasian. It is likely that the silver coin hoard was originally buried at about the same time as the gold hoard. Roman gold coin hoards are extremely rare. Both hoards suggest the late Iron Age practice of depositing groups of gold and silver items as votive offerings, as at Snettisham in Norfolk. It is likely that the site where the hoards were buried was a religious or 'cult' site.


Found in Shillington. Declared Treasure in 1998.

Venue details

Wardown House – Museum and Gallery Old Bedford Road, LUTON Bedfordshire LU2 7HA 01582 546722

Entry details

Free to all

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Sun, 1pm – 5pm