There’s gold in them there hills!
One of England’s earliest gold coins has been found in the Blackdown Hills. The Henry III gold penny, which was unearthed on farmland, was minted in about 1257 and is one of only eight such coins known to exist. It depicts the former English king sitting on an ornate throne, holding an orb and sceptre.
King Henry III ruled England from 1216 to 1272 one of the longest reigns in the country’s history. In 1257, he used the treasure he’s personally accumulated to mint his gold coinage. Today, the coin is worth a pretty penny – selling for a record £648,000 at auction!
Before you head for the hills in search of gold, keep in mind that this was an extremely rare chance discovery. Be aware that metal detecting laws prohibit venturing onto private land or a designated area, such a Site of Specific Scientific Interest or Scheduled Monument, without permission.
While finding treasure is unlikely, don’t forget there are plenty of opportunities to enrich your life by exploring the historic sites of the Blackdown Hills and learning about the area’s fascinating history!