Polynesian objects from early European exploration, £19.99
The Tregwynt Hoard
Buried around 1648
Found at Tregwynt, Pembrokeshire, Wales, 1996
This is one of over two hundred hoards that have been found from the time of the English Civil War (1642-51) between the Parliamentarians (or Roundheads) and King Charles I (reigned 1625-49) and his supporters (the Royalists or Cavaliers).
The hoard was discovered in 1996 when a tennis court was being built at Tregwynt Mansion, near Fishguard in Pembrokeshire, Wales. Roy Lewis, a local metal detectorist, was asked to scan the spoil and discovered 33 gold and 467 silver coins and a gold ring.
The latest coin in the hoard was made in 1647 or 1648, during the Civil War period. The hoard was worth £51 and 9 shillings at this time. This could have paid fifty foot soldiers for a month or bought about two tons of cheese.
The upheavals of the Civil War probably explain why the hoard was buried. In 1648 there was a Royalist revolt in Pembrokeshire and Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658), leader of Parliament's army, came to crush the rebellion. The treasure was hidden in an outbuilding at Tregwynt Mansion, which belonged to Llewellin Harries, who had at least six sons and six daughters. Maybe he or one of his children hid it for safety. Whoever it was, they never came back to collect it.
From the collection of the National Museums & Galleries of Wales
Richard Hobbs, Treasure: Finding our past (London, The British Museum Press, 2003)
E. Besly, 'Welsh treasure from the English Civil War', Minerva-1, 9 (4) (1998), pp. 49-51
E. Besly, English Civil War Coin Hoards (British Museum Occasional Paper, 1988)