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Money matters

Llanvaches Coin Hoard goes on display at the National Roman Legion Museum

In June 2006, a metal detectorist came across nearly 600 Roman coins in a field between Caerleon and Caerwent. This collection, one of the largest 2nd Century silver coin hoards recorded from Roman Britain, is now on display at the National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon.

The 599 silver denarii, known as the Llanvaches Hoard date back to around AD160 and were declared treasure by the Gwent coroner David Bowen in July 2007. They were then acquired by Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales which has put them on display close to where they were found.

"Llanvaches lies between the fortress of the second Augustan legion at Caerleon and the local tribal capital, Venta Silurum, at Caerwent,” said Edward Besly, Assistant Keeper of Archaeology and Curator of Numismatics, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales.

“The coins could have been the life savings of a retired soldier who settled locally or the proceeds of commerce relating to Caerleon or Caerwent. They would have represented about two years' wages for a legionary soldier and taken much longer to save!”

Since they were acquired the coins, which show various Roman Emperors such as Hadrian and Nero have gone through a process of conservation and are now ready for display.

Dai Price, Museum Manager added:

“This is a wonderful collection of coins, which provides a new dimension for those visiting the Museum. One of our aims is to make life 2,000 years ago as vivid as possible and this hoard allows us to tell more stories. Just one silver coin from the hoard would have been paid for a day’s work in AD160!”

Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales operates seven museums across Wales National Museum Cardiff, St Fagans: National History Museum, National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon, Big Pit: National Coal Museum, Blaenafon, National Wool Museum, Dre-fach Felindre, National Slate Museum, Llanberis and the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea.

Entry to all Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales sites is free, thanks to the support of the Welsh Assembly Government.


For more information and photographs please contact Catrin Mears on 029 2057 3185/07920 027067 or email: