Medieval coin hoard found near Dumfries, and other archaeology stories from around the UK

A round-up of some of the latest news; includes the discovery of one of Scotland's largest medieval coin hoards.

Medieval coin hoard found near Dumfries

A hoard of around 8,400 medieval silver coins was found by a metal-detectorist in the summer of 2021 in a field near the village of Dunscore, just north of Dumfries in Scotland. Since then, the site has been fully excavated by a team from the Treasure Trove Unit and National Museums Scotland, and the coins are currently being catalogued, with each one undergoing photographing, measuring, and weighing. While the work is still in its early stages, it appears most of the hoard consists of pennies of Edward I (r. 1272-1307) and Edward II (r. 1307-1327). Very few medieval coin hoards have been found in Scotland, and the Dunscore hoard is the largest discovered since the 19th century. Watch this space for more details as this project unfolds.

Conserving gravestones at Dunblane Cathedral

IMAGE: DeFacto, CC BY-SA 2.0

Specially trained staff from Historic Environment Scotland (HES) have begun work to stabilise, repair, and re-erect gravestones at the main entrance to Dunblane Cathedral.

A survey of 595 gravestones at the cathedral had identified more than 130 that are in need of repair, either due to age, exposure to the elements, or other factors. The project is expected to continue throughout 2023, and HES is appealing to the local community to help identify the owners of some of the memorials.

Commenting on the work, Ailsa Gray, Chair of Dunblane Community Council, said: ‘We welcome the fact that work has started and look forward to working with HES on the interpretation and recording of the ancient stones hidden beneath the surface. Such discoveries will underline Dunblane Cathedral’s position as an ancient monument of national importance.’

240 new sites listed in 2022

Over the last year Historic England added 240 sites to the National Heritage List for England (NHLE), including 16 scheduled monuments and three protected wrecks. The new additions include Coombe Gill Mill on a tributary of the River Derwent in Cumbria – renowned for inspiring artists like John Constable – and two Cabmen’s Shelters, at Pont Street and at Chelsea Embankment, built to provide hot food for cabbies in Victorian London.

Commenting on the list, Duncan Wilson, Chief Executive of Historic England, said: ‘The variety of listings this year illustrates the rich diversity of our shared heritage and the importance of everyday places. Places like these create distinctiveness and make us proud of where we live. We’re inviting everyone to help Enrich the List, by sharing their knowledge and pictures of listed places to help expand our shared understanding and perhaps even unlock some of the secrets of the past.’