Ipswich Museum buys Iron Age gold coins for £316,000

A hoard of Iron Age gold coins found in a pot in a Suffolk field in 2008 is to go on display in Ipswich.

More than £316,000 has been raised to buy the 840 coins and display and conserve them at Christchurch Mansion.

The Heritage Lottery Fund donated £225,900 towards purchasing the coins, which go on display from Wednesday.

Caroline McDonald, Ipswich Museum curator of archaeology, said: "They're hugely significant - it's a once in a lifetime discovery."

Ms McDonald said the find, made in Dallinghoo near Woodbridge, was the largest existing hoard of gold iron age coins in England.

Sophisticated society

"We talk about national treasures as a throwaway term but these really are a national treasure," she said.

"They tell us something new about the period because they were found right on the border between the Iceni tribal lands and the Trinovantian tribal lands.

"It's starting to give us a picture of the political landscape in Britain before the Romans.

"We often think of pre-history as a mysterious, dark time, where we don't really understand what's going on because people didn't write their history down.

"It's findings like this that help us understand what a sophisticated society we had at that time."

Half of the money used to buy the coins will go to Cliff Green, who owns the field in Dallinghoo.

The remainder will be split between Michael Darke and Keith Lewis, who unearthed the hoard.

The coins were valued by specialists on the Treasure Valuation Committee, which is overseen by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in line with Government policy on treasure trove.

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