Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Roman Boldre Hoard goes on display at St Barbe Museum

Roman coins
Image caption The coins are being displayed at the renovated St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery

A hoard of Roman coins dating back to the 3rd Century has gone on public display for the first time.

Metal detector enthusiasts unearthed 1,608 coins in a field in Boldre, near Lymington in Hampshire, in 2014.

They are being displayed at the town's recently renovated St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery, which raised £30,000 to stop the collection from being split up.

Some experts had wanted some of coins to be kept at London's British Museum.

Crowds gathered to see the unveiling of the treasure when the museum reopened on Saturday following an upgrade paid for with a £1.78m Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

Image caption The museum raised £30,000 to stop the collection from being split up
Image copyright St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery
Image caption Each of the 1,608 coins dates to the late 3rd Century

BBC presenter Dan Snow had backed the appeal to make the coins a "centrepiece" at the museum.

Metal detectorist James Petts, who discovered the so-called Boldre Hoard, said: "It's the icing on the cake if you're a detectorist. It's what we all dream of and want to find.

"It's been a great experience. I'm glad it is all preserved for future generations."

Image caption The hoard's finder James Petts said he was glad it had been 'preserved' at the museum

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