Bucks Museum & Lenborough Hoard

In 2014 Weekend Wanderers organised a dig at Lenborough in Buckinghamshire. Detectorist Paul Coleman discovered over 5,250 Anglo-Saxon coins located in a lead container. They were subsequently valued at £1.35 million by the Treasure Valuation Committee. Bucks Museum wished to keep them in the county and Brett Thorn, Keeper of Archaeology, made an appeal for pledges from local people and organisations. The bulk of the money would come from national grant giving charities. Additionally the Museum raised over £50,000 locally to secure the coins for BucksT

The Lenborough hoard of over 5200 Anglo-Saxon silver pennies was found in 2014. After a major fundraising appeal, the hoard was saved for the public. In the video, Dr Gareth Williams, a Curator at the British Museum and Brett Thorn share information on this fantastic hoard.

Time for Change

There’s been a change at the Museum with five brand new galleries to explore. Pride of place is the Lenborough Hoard – the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon coins ever found. My pictures don’t do them justice. I found the method of the coin display rather unusual, but very effective.

Picture by JW
Because the hoard was wrapped in a sheet of lead, the coins are well preserved.

Sorting the coin display. One of two cases is shown on the right.

The Incredible Rare Roman Heads

Also in the main gallery with the Lenborough hoard are the stone busts uncovered during HS2’s archaeological excavation of St Mary’s Church in Stoke Mandeville. Three were found and two have been loaned to the Museum until the end of October 2022.

Picture by JW.

I show one stone head here. Two statue heads – a man and a woman have been loaned to the museum for early display. Why the woman’s head is so much better is unknown. A third head of a girl was found, but was badly damaged. Archaeologists say that it is possibly a family group.

“The elaborate braided hairstyle on the woman helps us date the statues by looking at similar styles on coins statues found elsewhere in the Roman Empire. Initial assessment suggests an early second century date, about 102 150 a day. The quality and style of these carvings is exceptional in Roman Britain

The statues are believed to come from a Roman mausoleum [tomb] that stood on the site long before the church was built. Fragments of painted walls were found during the excavation. The statues were found in the ditch surrounding the mausoleum, and it is possible they were thrown into the ditch when it was pulled down.

Thanks to HS2 and L-P archaeology for the temporary loan of these pieces.”

. . . taken from a Museum explanation with the statues

Just an observation . . . and a poem

It is very plain for people to see that LP archaeology was thanked for the loan of the statues. No matter how closely I looked I couldn’t see a thank you to detectorist Paul Coleman for his fantastic find of over 5,000 coins. Perhaps it eluded me.

Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

by Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieve it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

One of my favourite poems. Dylan Thomas uses nighttime as a metaphor for death, and anguishes over his father’s willing acceptance of it. He urges his father to “Rage, rage against the dying of the light,” i.e. the onset of night, or as it is used here, death.

I don’t rage over the ‘dying of the light’.

5 thoughts on “Bucks Museum & Lenborough Hoard

  1. “Perhaps it alluded me.”.. John, John, John.. Alluded??? You know better than that.. Eluded my friend.. 🙂

    One day I would love to come over and detect and tour some of the fantastic museums and historical sites..
    Alas, it is looking less and less likely.. But there is always hope.. and hope is the best of things…

    Some very generous donations there.. and as you said, there does not appear to be an acknowledgement of the coins..
    I wonder if it was just an oversight

    Thank you for this my friend


    Liked by 1 person

  2. John hangs his head in shame but it only shows that he DOES make mistakes.
    As a penance I will go down to the bottom of the garden and eat a few juicy worms,
    That’s my Shipshape Redemption.


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