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Leigh’s Roman Treasure

This month is the 14th anniversary of a very notable archaeological discovery in Leigh. Discovered almost a decade and a half-ago was Roman treasure which brought the village to the attention of scholars of Roman history. To coincide with the find, RH History Uncovered looks at the discovery of Leigh’s Roman Treasure in August 2004. 

On a warm Surrey summer’s day on August 11 2004, a hearty hoard of some 62 Roman silver denarii coins were discovered beneath the earth in a field at Swains Farm in Leigh.

The oldest of the coins discovered dated from 31 BC, with others dated as being minted in around 180 AD after the death of the emperor Marcus Aurelius. The coins, most of which were in a poor condition were discovered by archeological enthusiast Martin Adams, a member of Weald and Downland Metal Detector Club while using his metal detector.

The historical hoard of coins dating back to Ancient Rome represented a number of different Roman rulers, were found to be either corroded or, apparently, burnt according to eye witnesses. The discovery marked a significant moment in Surrey history, and the county’s link to the Roman era. The find was the first major hoard of Roman coins to be discovered in the county for around 30 years, the initial finds in Leigh consisted of just 24 coins from the ploughed soil of a field but it soon became a find of real historical value to scholars.

Two days of archaeological fieldwork took place in the area in which Surrey Archaeological Society estimate around 112 sq metres of ploughed soil was removed. Fieldwork carried out by archeologists established few coins were found more than about 10 metres away from the main concentration, which also contained two pieces of the rim of a Roman jar or beaker which dated from the 1st Century AD.

By Jacob White

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