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The Medieval Period (1100AD - 1499AD)

Life In The Middle Ages

Closeburn coin hoard (selection)


Over two hundred Mediaeval silver pennies and groats, dated between 1249 and 1377 were found buried near Closeburn in the 1990's.  However, in 1844 at least 10,000 similar coins were found at the same place, "a considerable quantity of groats and pennies... were ploughed up by a man named Thomas Whitman, the whole amounting to at least 10,000; the ground formed part of Barmoor Wood and had not previously turned up - the discoverer not being sufficiently selfish to conceal his prize, a crowd assembled and many of the women were seen literally carrying away the money in lapfuls."


How did they get there?  Were they deliberately concealed or were they lost?  Was there a connection with Closeburn Castle - could the money have been intended as wages for soldiers garrisoned there - or was it a ransom payment?  Was some unwary traveller attacked but managed to conceal his precious parcel, or did his horse simply stumble and the package was lost?  There seems to be no documentary record of such a large sum disappearing - so perhaps it will always remain a mystery.


1 Penny, Edward I/II of England, Bury St Edmunds mint

2 Penny, Edward I/II of England, Bristol mint

3 Penny, Edward I/II of England, Lincoln mint

4 Penny, Alexander III of Scotland

5 Penny, Edward I/II of England, York mint

6 Penny, Edward I/II of England, Canterbury mint

7 Penny, Edward I/II of England, Berwick mint

8 Penny, David II of Scotland

9 Penny, Edward I/II of England, London mint

10 Penny, Edward I/II of England, Durham mint

11 Penny, Edward III of England, London mint

12 Penny, Edward I/II of England, Newcastle mint

13 Groat, David II of Scotland

metal, silver
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
Digital Number:
DMCO009a; DMCO009b
Dumfries & Galloway Council

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