The expression “where there’s muck there’s brass” originated in Yorkshire in the 20th Century and the word brass is still used as a slang term for money. How true this turned out to be for two metal-detectorists who found a hoard of coins buried in an urn in a farmers field near Walkington.
The initial find took place in 1999 when 11 Iron Age gold coins were found. They returned to the field in September 2000, after the crops had been harvested, and worked for the next six weekends finding a further 35 coins scattered over a wide area. The coins were taken to the Yorkshire Museum in York and were identified as being minted by the Lincolnshire tribe of the Corieltauvi sometime in the first half of the first century. This hoard represents the largest recorded find of Celtic coins from East Yorkshire.
A treasure trove inquest in Hull ruled that the coins were treasure. Any reward will be shared between the two men and the farmer. The exact location of the field has never been disclosed for obvious reasons.
A little bit more background on this fascinating discovery. About 2000 years ago, during the Iron Age, gold coinage began to be used in Yorkshire. As is says in the video the gold coins were minted further south and only reached Yorkshire in limited quantities. The coins found near Walkington are unusual because of the high gold content and their rarity in Yorkshire probably means that the coins were held for symbolic reasons.
The coins in the Walkington Hoard are more like a works of art, with the design following Greek examples, with one face showing a simple horse design. When the Romans arrived in Yorkshire in the first century AD, the army brought with it a complex monetary system, that swept away the coinage of the Iron Age. The new coinage was made from silver and bronze, replacing the use of gold.
So all those years ago a wealthy person, living near our village, sought a secure location to hide their wealth in those turbulent times, and chose to bury their gold coins in the ground. He or she chose well for the coins were securely stored, until two guys with metal detectors, happened on the scene.