Braintree hoard

The Braintree hoard coming to Noonans on February 21.

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The group has an estimate of in excess of £180,000 at its February 21 sale.

Two detectorists (who have been searching together for 20 years and previously only found low value items) heard the signal from their Minelab CTX 3030 detector and at just four inches down discovered a silver penny. They found a handful more in the area that day and later realised they were rare pennies from the reign of Harold II.

Over the next few days they returned and found around 70 more. They then returned at a later date and found another 70 coins.

In total 144 coins were discovered dating from the reigns of the last two Anglo-Saxon kings of England – Edward the Confessor and Harold II Godwinsson. The coins had been minted in various towns and cities including rare mints such as Sudbury in Suffolk and Bridport in Dorset.  

Braintree hoard coins

Coins from the Sudbury mint during this period were not known to exist before. The three pennies from this mint (one pictured here) are estimated at £3000-4000 each at Noonans.


The coins, classed as Treasure under the 1996 Treasure Act, were processed and Colchester Museum and the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge bought 16 coins between them from the hoard, including two 11th century Byzantine coins. Following this, late last year, the rest of the coins were disclaimed and returned to the finders. The proceeds of the sales and auction will be shared between the two finders and the landowner. 

Braintree hoard coins

Very few coins from the Bridport mint from the reign of Harold II are known to exist. This example is estimated at £3000-4000 at Noonans.

It is thought that the hoard was buried in 1066 – all bar two of the coins were minted within five years of this date. Noonans coin specialist Bradley Hopper said: "While the deposition of the Braintree Hoard might not relate directly to the events of 1066, the fact that it was never recovered surely did.”

Braintree hoard coin

A Harold II penny from the Guildford moneyer Leofwold, estimated at £5000-6000.

Included in the 122 pennies coming to auction is a rare Harold II penny from the Guildford moneyer Leofwold which is estimated at £5000-6000 and one from the Hastings mint estimated at £5000-6000. This Hastings coin is only the second to appear at public auction in the last 40 years with the other being sold by Noonans in September 2023 for a hammer price of £20,000.

Braintree hoard coins

A Harold II penny from the Hastings mint, estimated at £5000-6000 at Noonans.