Museum hoping for treasure hoard found in garden

THIS impressive hoard of gold and silver coins was unearthed in a back garden in Yorkshire.

It consists of an inscribed gold finger ring, 48 gold coins and 543 silver coins, all contained in a ceramic pot. They date from the Civil War period.

Amazingly they were found by a resident of Ackworth, a village near Pontefract, who was digging in their garden last July.

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The identity of the lucky gardener has not been released and the location of the find is likely to remain a secret.

Experts call it the “Ackworth Hoard” and Wakefield Council has expressed a formal interest in acquiring it for Pontefract Museum.

A council spokesman said: “The finder reported the discovery to the Portable Antiquities Scheme and the hoard was taken to the British Museum for assessment as potential treasure.

“As the hoard is more than 300 years old it is covered by the Treasure Act 1996.

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“A coroner’s inquest is due to take place at Wakefield’s Coroner’s Court on March 27 to make a formal ruling that the hoard is treasure.

“The Treasure Valuation Committee will then value the hoard. If acquired by the council, the hoard could provide a display in Pontefract Museum, contributing to the history of the area, providing a focus for learning activities and giving the museum a major attraction.

“By expressing an interest the council is not committed to acquiring the hoard, but is confirming that it will seek to raise the funds needed by applying for external funding from national bodies if successful.”

To be declared treasure a find has to be more than 300 years old and contain at least ten per cent gold or silver.

Ackworth can trace its history back hundreds of years and was mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086.

The Romans were active in the area and occupied a fort at Castleford.