Iron Age coin hoard

Iron Age coin hoard

...an offering to the gods...

This flint nodule, or crock, was used to conceal a hoard of seven gold Iron Age coins. They were discovered by a metal detectorist near Kingsclere in Hampshire during the construction of a golf course in 1988. The detector was waved over the large flint nodule, resulting in a strong signal – the coins were inside a natural cylindrical hole in the stone, held in place by a plug of clay.

The coins are known to archaeologists as “staters”, and date to the later 1st century BC. They had a wide distribution in Berkshire, Hampshire, Surrey and Sussex. This style of coin is known as the triple-tailed coin issue. You can clearly make out the three tails of the stylised horse in the close-up image of one of the coins in the “Gallery” section.

Although unusual, the practice of placing coins in flint nodules is known from other similar finds in the United Kingdom. The coins may have been an ‘offering to the gods’, deliberately buried as part of a religious or ritual activity.

Quick Facts

  • Accession number A1989.8
  • Found in 1988
  • Found at Kingsclere, Hampshire
  • Date to Later 1st century BC
  • Period Iron Age
  • Made of gold (coins), flint (nodule)


  • The coins are around about the size of modern £1 coins.
  • The find (the seven gold coins) was declared Treasure Trove at an inquest held at Basingstoke.  As it was before the changes to the Treasure Act, the flint was not included. The Museum bought the coins from the landowner (and was given the flint!).
  • A few decades after this hoard of “British B” type triple-tailed gold coins was buried, rulers of the local tribal area, such as Commius and Verica began struck coins with their names on.
  • A famous example of a hollow flint being filled with gold coins is the Chute find of 1927 (65 coins) when a beater on a shoot threw a large flint against another, breaking the stone and releasing ‘a shower of gold’. The site, or immediate area has subsequently yielded a further 150 coins in two more episodes of discovery!. There is another small ‘flint crock’ on display in Rochester Museum, Kent.


Did you know?

The tribal group who lived in Hampshire, Berkshire and West Sussex before the coming of the Romans is known as the Atrebates.

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