My good friend Tom Fort was a huge Anglophile and fan of King Offa and his rare coinage, so I wanted to share this article about the donation of an Offa coin to a museum in Hereford.
A 1200-year-old rare coin has been donated by its owner to Hereford Museum.
The silver penny dates back to the reign of King Offa, the famous eighth century ruler of Mercia.
It was handed to Hereford Museum on Tuesday 28 February by Dr Jerry Davis who bought the coin at auction in 2022. In turn, Jerry offered the coin to the museum at minimal cost.
Helped by public donations received through the Herefordshire Museum Service Support Group, the museum seized the chance to purchase it.
In time, the coin will go on display in Hereford's state-of-the-art museum and art gallery when the doors to the new building on Broad Street open in 2025.
The ‘King Offa' penny was found in a field in Marden, just a few miles north of the museum in which it will be displayed. The metal detectorist who unearthed it in February 2022 ensured it was correctly recorded with the Portable Antiquities Scheme, as all archaeological finds in England and Wales should be.
The Marden and Sutton area was the location of ‘Offa's palace', the royal estate that continued to exist for centuries after the time of the kings Offa and Ceolwulf II, whose head appears on other coins that form part of the Herefordshire Hoard.
It's the same area where Offa is said to have murdered King Ethelbert of East Anglia and where Ethelbert's decapitated body was laid in Marden Church before being transported to Hereford in 794. A shrine to St Ethelbert remains in place in Hereford Cathedral.
The museum is delighted to acquire the penny, which was minted in Canterbury by coin-maker Babba between the years 783-792. Considering its age, it's in very good condition. Its association with King Offa makes it of huge interest to Herefordshire, given his historical significance in the county.
To read the complete article, see:
FEATURED | A 1200-year-old rare coin has been donated by its owner to Hereford Museum
Wayne Homren, Editor
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