Donations help save Gobowen Hoard for museum
A funding appeal by Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery to acquire a collection of Roman coins – the Gobowen Hoard – has exceeded all expectations and achieved its target in days.
The Gobowen Hoard, consisting of 337 silver Roman coins, was unearthed by detectorist Darren Booth, a member of the Mold Detecting Club, in a ploughed field in the north of the county in September 2019 and, after being declared treasure at an inquest, Shropshire Council’s museums service committed to acquiring the hoard.
Thanks to grants from the V&A Museum Purchase Grant and Headley Trust, Shropshire Museums was able to secure the majority of the funds needed, but a crowdfunding appeal to raise the remaining £6,200 was launched on Monday 23 January 2023 and exceeded its target within a week.
Emma-Kate Lanyon, Shropshire Council museum service curator, thanked supporters for their generosity:-
“The Gobowen Hoard was found close to Watling Street, now the A5, the major Roman Road that connected London to Chester. This suggests that people were burying their valuables as they moved along major routeways, each hoping for better times to return and retrieve their wealth.
“By helping Shropshire Council museums service purchase this remarkable find, which lay undisturbed for 2,000 years, our supporters are working alongside metal detectorists, archaeologists and historians to understand an important moment in our shared history and make it accessible.
“We are overwhelmed by the donations that have been made and would like to thank everyone who has contributed.”
Rob Gittins, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for culture and digital, added:-
“Hoards of coins are what everyone thinks of as treasure, but Roman hoards such as this are amazingly rare from Shropshire. This particular hoard was very well preserved and we were keen to acquire them so that we can share them with everyone by exhibiting them at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery.
“We are blown away by the generosity that has been shown and I would like to thank everyone who has contributed and made this possible.”
People who donated £100 to the appeal have ‘adopted’ a coin and will be sent a replica coin and postcard, while people donating £250 will be gifted an exclusive 24ct gold vermeil replica of the Shropshire Sun Pendant, created by Emma-Kate Lanyon.
The excess funds raised through the crowdfunding appeal will be used to contribute towards the display of the hoard and will be put towards an additional showcase for the Roman Gallery at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery, ensuring as many fascinating discoveries can be displayed as possible.
“We hope to display the Gobowen Hoard at Oswestry Library before it is added to the permanent displays at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery.”