In October 2018 Phil and Joan Castle, who have been metal detecting together for over 30 years, discovered a small purse hoard of fourteenth-century Gold Nobles in Romney Marsh, Kent. Initially, Joan found a silver-gilt contemporary imitation of an Edward III Noble lying on the field’s surface in several fragments, another signal beside it in the soil revealed a Medieval purse bar at 8 inches down. Phil came over to help and immediately found a true Noble of Edward III, and over the next two hours an additional four similar coins were uncovered in an area of around 5 metres.
Apart from the forgery, all five gold coins are in an incredibly fresh state of preservation and must have been lost shortly after 1361. It is remarkable that the coins have avoided all but the most trifling surface marks and scuffs, a frequent characteristic of field-found hammered gold coins.
Upon discovery several of the coins were slightly bent or creased, and conservation work has been undertaken by our in-house expert Nigel Mills. Nigel gently straightened the Nobles using light manual pressure, and they retain much of their original colour and lustre. A broken suspension loop on the purse bar indicates that it was lost accidentally with the coins inside, probably much to the disappointment of its original owner. The group of Five Nobles, one contemporary imitation and brass purse bar was reported to the local Finds Liaison Officer who designated it as Treasure (T2018T845; PAS KENT-056190).