Hartlepool metal detectorist discovers biggest ever Roman coin hoard in North

Metal detectorist Dave Blakey and Andrew Wood, Curator of Numismatics.
 Picture: Anthony Chappel-Ross

Metal detectorist Dave Blakey and Andrew Wood, Curator of Numismatics. Picture: Anthony Chappel-Ross

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A metal detectorist from Hartlepool has told of his “find of a lifetime” after discovering the largest ever hoard of Roman coins found in the north of England.

David Blakey, 57, found a ceramic pot containing more than 1,800 Roman coins dating back to the year 370 AD in a farmer’s field near Scarborough in September 2014.

The Yorkshire museum appeal for funding to purchase this Roman Hoard of coins dating to the reign of York's own Roman emporer Constantine. Finder and Metal detectorist Dave Blakey.
Picture: Anthony Chappel-Ross

The Yorkshire museum appeal for funding to purchase this Roman Hoard of coins dating to the reign of York's own Roman emporer Constantine. Finder and Metal detectorist Dave Blakey. Picture: Anthony Chappel-Ross

The discovery has been made public for the first time as the Yorkshire Museum, in York, has launched an appeal to raise £44,200 to keep the hoard in Yorkshire and on public display.

David, who lives in the Clavering area of the town, said: “It is the find of a lifetime – the find of 10 lifetimes.”

The semi-retired lab technician was scanning for treasure with the Dunelm Metal Detector Club near the village of Wold Newton, East Yorkshire.

The club had visited the area for the last six years and found the odd Roman coin and medieval find.

It is the find of a lifetime – the find of 10 lifetimes

David Blakey

David added: “The odds of finding that is probably the same as winning the lottery.

“Two steps to the left or right and I would have missed it.”

Archeologists say the hoard is particularly significant as it sheds light on a pivotal period in York’s history and the western world.

The coins depict several co-emperors who were all jockeying for position. When York’s ruler Constantius died his son Constantine became the first Christian emperor.

Andrew Woods, of Yorkshire Museum, said: “This is an absolutely stunning find with a strong connection to one of the most significant periods in York’s Roman history.

“We hope to now save the hoard to make sure it stays in Yorkshire for the public to enjoy but also so we can learn more about this fascinating period as well as why it was buried and to whom it might have belonged.”

People can donate to keep the hoard in public hands through the website www.yorkshiremuseum.org.uk