Gold coins found in a piano - where else has treasure been discovered in Suffolk and Essex?

Earrings found as part of a collection of Roman treasure found under Williams & Griffin in Colcheste

Earrings found as part of a collection of Roman treasure found under Williams & Griffin in Colchester High Street. Found in September 2014. - Credit: Archant

Essex has proved to be a true treasure trove when it comes to digging up England’s past.

It comes after a treasure inquest into gold found in a piano in Saffron Walden came to an end on Thursday.

The latest historical find in the county was only discovered inside the piano after new owners, in south-west Shropshire, decided to tune the instrument.

The 913 coins, found neatly stacked in dusty hand-stitched packages and pouches, were discovered carefully secreted beneath the instrument’s keyboard base.

The Mildenhall Treasure discovery of 1942 saw Essex farmers discover exquisite Roman silver while out ploughing a field.In January 1942 farmer Gordon Butcher was ploughing land owned by Fred Rolfe near Mildenhall when he had to stop after encountering a large obstacle.Butcher called his boss Sydney Ford for help and together they retrieved the items.Ford took the pieces home and cleaned them, his grandson later recalling using the great Roman dish as a Christmas fruit bowl.It was not until antiquarian Dr Hugh Fawcett encountered the objects that their significance was realised and Ford was persuaded to seek the advice of the British Museum.The story of the find has been immortalised in Roald Dahl’s short story, The Mildenhall Treasure.• Nationally important Roman treasure has also been found in Colchester.A Roman jewellery collection was found during excavations at Williams & Griffin department store in the town’s high street in September 2014.

The piano containing the gold treasure. Picture: BRITISH MUSEUM/PA WIRE

The piano containing the gold treasure. Picture: BRITISH MUSEUM/PA WIRE - Credit: Archant

Items including a silver armlet, two silver bracelets, a silver chain necklace and three gold armlets complete with jewellery box where found.

Confirmed as a treasure find the jewellery was donated to Colchester Castle where it is now on display less than half-a-mile from where it was found.


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• A three-year-old boy also turned up treasure in Hockley, Essex, back in 2009.

James Hyatt discovered a early 16th century gold locket, know to experts as a reliquary. while out metal detecting with his dad, Jason Hyatt. The gold locket would have been used to hold religious relics and is likely to have belonged to a member of the royal family.

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