Now known as the “Ellerby Area Hoard,” it is one of the biggest discoveries of 18th century English gold coins ever uncovered in Britain. According to a press release sent to CNN, Gregory Edmund, an auctioneer with Spink & Son, said the trove is unlike any find in British archaeology or coin auction in memory.
“It is a wonderful and truly unexpected discovery from so unassuming a find location,” Edmund said in the press release. “This find of over 260 coins is also one of the largest on archaeological record from Britain, and certainly for the 18th century period,” he added.
According to Spink & Sons’ research, the hoard was likely accumulated by Joseph and Sarah Fernley-Maisters, who were married in 1694 and occupied the house until their deaths in 1725 and 1745, respectively. The couple was part of a wealthy mercantile family who were influential from the 16th to 18th centuries.
Edmund states in the release, “Joseph and Sarah clearly distrusted the newly-formed Bank of England, the ‘banknote’ and even the gold coinage of their day because they (chose) to hold onto so many coins dating to the English Civil War and beforehand,” he added.
“Why they never recovered the coins when they were really easy to find just beneath original 18th century floorboards is an even bigger mystery, but it is one hell of a piggy bank.”