Stanchester Hoard

The Stanchester Hoard is a hoard of 1,166 Roman coins dating from the fourth to early fifth century found in 2000 at Wilcot, in the Vale of Pewsey, Wiltshire, England.[1] The find was considered important because of the large quantity of unclipped silver coins contained within.[2] It was also the latest dated example of Roman coins found in Wiltshire.[1]

Stanchester Hoard
Size1,166 coins
DiscoveredWilcot, Vale of Pewsey, Wiltshire, by John and David Philpott on 25 July 2000
Present locationWiltshire Museum, Devizes
Identification2000 Fig 268


The hoard was discovered in a field on 25 July 2000 by John and David Philpotts, using metal detectors. It had been buried in a flagon made from the pottery known as Alice Holt pottery.[1][3] The hoard was named after the former Stanchester villa, a nearby Roman villa with which the hoard was likely to have been associated, along with the Wansdyke earthwork.[4] Excavations of the Stanchester villa in 1931 and 1969, revealed a wall and evidence for a Roman central heating system. Roof and flue tiles and pottery shards were dated by associated coins, which dated from the 2nd to the 4th centuries.[5]

The Wiltshire Museum in Devizes acquired the hoard for £50,000 following a coroner's inquest which declared it treasure trove.

Items discovered

Coins from the hoard came from a number of locations across Europe.[6]

The Stanchester Hoard contains three gold solidi, 33 silver miliarenses—many described as in "mint condition",[1] 1129 silver siliquae and one copper-alloy nummus, as well as a fragment of a bronze ring.[3] The earliest coin was struck in the reign of Constantine I starting in 307; the latest coin was struck in 406 during the joint reign of Arcadius and Honorius. The silver coins were not clipped, suggesting that they had never been circulated.[2][4] Within a year of the latest minting, Constantine III, declared emperor by his troops, crossed to Gaul with an army and was defeated by Honorius; it is unclear how many Roman troops remained or ever returned, or whether a commander-in-chief in Britain was ever reappointed.

ReignDate? of coinsEmpire
Magnus Maximus383–388197Western
Arcadius/Honorius383–4233E / W

The coins came from a number of mints across the Roman Empire. The mints were Siscia, Sirmium, Constantinople, Trier, Aquileia, Lyons, Rome, Thessaloniki, Milan and Antioch.[3]

Other Stanchester finds

In 1865, Roman tesserae, coins, pieces of bronze, shale whorls, pottery and a flint knife were found in an area known as Stanchester in Curry Rivel, Somerset.[7]

Other Roman places in England named Stanchester include the site of another villa in Pitchford, Shropshire.[8]

See also


  1. Keith Nurse. "Late Roman Coin Hoards and Wansdyke". Wansdyke Project 21. Retrieved 8 July 2010.
  2. "Analysis of Coin Hoards from Roman Britain". Retrieved 8 July 2010.
  3. "Treasure Annual Report 2000" (PDF). Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 2001. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 March 2012. Retrieved 8 July 2010.
  4. "Table 3". Retrieved 8 July 2010.
  5. Manor Farm, Wilcot, Pewsey, Wiltshire, An Archaeological Evaluation for W. Madiment, Helen Moore, Thames Valley Archaeological Services Ltd, accessed July 2010
  6. Guest 2005, pp. 39, 41 & 43
  7. "Monument no. 191845". Pastscape. English Heritage. Retrieved 21 July 2010.
  8. "Monument no. 70090". Pastscape. English Heritage. Retrieved 21 July 2010.
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