Silver penny of Stephen from a hoard of thirty-four medieval coins
Deposited in the period 1173-1174
Found at West Meon, Hampshire, by metal-detectorist in 1992
Hoards provide useful information about the times in which they were deposited. This hoard comprises three pennies of Stephen (1135-54) and thirty pennies and one cut halfpenny of Henry II (1154-89). It is typical for the period, mostly coins of Henry II's first issue, the Cross-and-Crosslets type, with a few stray issues of the previous reign. The latest coins in the hoard suggest that it was deposited during the troubled period 1173-74 when the king's son rebelled. The main area of the rebels' activity was in East Anglia and the east midlands. Looking at the mints from which the coins come there is a marked bias in favour of mints in East Anglia: Norwich, Bury, Thetford and Ipswich. This suggests that the coins had recently reached West Meon from the war zone, perhaps directly with a participant on one side or the other. As a penny in the 12th century was worth about ten pounds in today's money the hoard represented a large sum. It is unlikely that such a sum was casually lost but more likely that it was concealed with a view to later recovery. Just why the owner never came back will remain unknown.
Purchased with the aid of a grant from the MGC/V and A Purchase Grant Fund.