Gold coins discovered beneath pub

 

A hoard of gold coins dating back almost 400 years has been discovered hidden in soil beneath the floor boards of a pub in Tipperary.

The 81 coins, which date from the reigns of Charles II, James II, William and Mary and William III, were unearthed by builders on Main Street in Carrick-on-Suir while carrying out groundworks .

It has been described by the National Museum of Ireland as “one of the most significant finds of 17th century gold coins ever found in Ireland”.

The coins, which are being examined by experts from Museum and the National Monuments Service today, appear to be guineas and half guineas, minted in Britain by the Royal Mint from gold imported from West Africa.

Archaeologists from the Museum, who examined the site following the discovery last Friday, believe the coins may have been wrapped and held together by some material which has not survived.

Acting director of the National Museum Seamus Lynam said no comparable 17th century hoard of gold coins has been found in Ireland since the discovery of around 100 gold and silver coins in Portarlington, Co Laois in 1947.

“It has caused a lot of excitement because of the dates, and because of the number of them,” he said.

The coins are considered archaeological objects, which legally become property of the State.

An assessment of their significance and essential conservation work will have to be carried out before it is decided whether the coins will go on public display, Mr Lynam added.

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