Court rules silver Roman coin found near Hadleigh is not treasure

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Latest community news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

The British Museum have been over ruled by a Coroner who has declared that a “very rare” Roman coin unearthed near Hadleigh is not treasure.

The silver denarius coin was found in September 2015 on farmland in Aldham by detectorist Jonathan Brooks.

Last year an inquest had to be adjourned after Mr Brooks said he would challenge any treasure ruling, which would have seen the coin become available to the British Museum.

At the time, Mr Brooks, who had been searching with the permission of landowner William Crockatt before finding the coin 4cm beneath the surface of a ploughed field, said he believed the British Museum was misusing the Treasure Act to fill gaps in their collections.

The British Museum had initially said that, while single coins were not usually regarded as treasure, the one found by Mr Brooks had a hole drilled through it and may not have been then used as currency.

Today Mr Brooks was at Suffolk Coroners Court in Ipswich to hear assistant Suffolk Coroner Nigel Parsley ruled that, because of doubts about what the coin would have been used for, it could not be declared as treasure.

Dr Anna Booth, from Suffolk County Council archaeology service, told the inquest that many Roman coins had holes pierced through them, sometimes suggesting used as a pendant but it was not always the case.

Following the inquest ruling, Mr Brooks, who had travelled from his home in Wiltshire for the hearing, will be allowed to keep the coin.