Yorkshire couple find rare hoard of 17th-century coins belonging to Hull merchant family beneath the floorboards of their home

A hoard of 17th-century coins that a couple found beneath their floorboards is to be sold at auction.

The haul of 264 gold coins discovered in the village of Ellerby, near Hull, has been valued at £250,000 by London auction house Spink & Son.

The owners of an 18th-century property were relaying their kitchen floor in 2019 when they made the incredible discovery inside an earthenware can buried under the concrete.

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The coins have been linked to a Hull merchant family, the Maisters, who made their fortune from trading with the Baltic ports. Their former residence in the Old Town, Maister House, is now owned by the National Trust.

Maister House, Hull Old TownMaister House, Hull Old Town
Maister House, Hull Old Town

The coins date from 1610 until 1727, from the reigns of King James I to King George I.

The period covers the time of the marriage of Sarah Maister to Joseph Fernley. Sarah lived in Ellerby as a widow until her death in 1745, around the time Maister House in Hull was completed. In 1814 Henry Maister commissioned the building of a country mansion, Wood Hall, in Ellerby, and nowadays the village is part of the Burton Constable estate.

Auctioneers said it was 'extremely rare' for hoards of gold coins to ever come onto the market and it is one of the largest ever found in Britain.

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They also questioned why the coins were buried during a time when banking was commonplace for wealthier families and paper currency had been introduced. The coins did not appear new.

The Ellerby Hoard will be sold in October.

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