CM BMC cat. 730, 771, 882, 1153, 1179, 2076-2266
Coins and Medals
Offerings from Wanborough Roman temple
Iron Age, late 1st century BC to 4th century
Found at Wanborough, Surrey, England
Villains of the Wanborough Roman temple
The destruction of the Romano-Celtic temple at Wanborough in Surrey is one of the saddest stories in British archaeology.
The site was discovered in 1983 by two metal detectorists, who reported their finds to Guildford Museum. Unfortunately, the location became public and thieves looted the site, digging deep holes and even destroying parts of an ancient hedgerow in their quest for treasure.
Archaeologists did manage to recover some objects, but only a small part of the orginal assemblage was traced. What remains includes offerings of over 1000 Iron Age and Roman coins, one of the most important assemblages of coins of this age from southern Britian. A headdress and sceptre handles were also recovered. These were probably used by a priest during rituals.
Subsequent excavations have shown that there were in fact two temples on the site. A circular temple had been built during the late first century BC site. This was replaced in the second century AD by a square temple.
Richard Hobbs, Treasure: Finding our past (London, The British Museum Press, 2003)
M.G. O'Connell and J. Bird with C. Cheesman, 'The Roman temple at Wanborough, excavation 1985-86', Surrey Archaeological Collecti, 82 (1994), pp. 1-168