The Coins

David Shotter  

Introduction 

Twelve coins were recovered during the excavations at Buckley's Field, although only two – both Roman – came from stratified deposits. Eight of the coins were Roman, two were of the reign of Charles I, and two copper coins were of eighteenth or nineteenth century origin. In the following list, the coins will be described by trench:

TRENCH 1 (1 coin)
1.   Æ  Magnentius (U/S); broken, but little worn  LRBC II.49 AD 350-1
 D N MAGNENTIVS P F AVG
 FELICITAS REIPVBLICE     TRP

TRENCH 8 (2 coins)

2. Æ  Constantine II (U/S); chipped on edges, but little worn
as  LRBC  I.49  AD 330-5
 [CONSTANTINVS] IVN NOB C
 GLORIA EXERCITVS (2 standards)

3.   AR  Half-groat, Charles I (U/S);  very worn    c. 1644

TRENCH 9 (3 coins)

4.   Æ   As, Domitian as Caesar (under Vespasian)  (906);
                                                            corroded, but not very worn  AD 72-9
 CAESAR AVG F DOMITIANVS C[OS ….] S C  (Illegible)

5.   Æ   Dupondius, Vespasian (U/S):  badly corroded   AD 69-79
 (legends illegible)

6.   Æ   Halfpenny (U/S)        18th/19th century

TRENCH 12 (6 coins)

7.   Æ   As, Nero (U/S);  very corroded     AD 62-8

8.   Æ   Dupondius, Vespasian (1213);  corroded, but not very worn AD 69-79
 (legends illegible)

9.  AR  Denarius, Hadrian (U/S); little worn     RIC 2 (Hadrian),  118 AD 119-22
 IMP CAESAR TRAIANVS HADRIANVS AVG
 P M TR P COS III  CONCORD (in exergue)

10 AR  Denarius, Marcus Aurelius (U/S);  moderately worn
                                                                           RIC 3 (Marcus), 436 AD 161+
 DIVVS ANTONINVS
 CONSECRATIO  Funeral Pyre

11. AR  Half-groat, Charles I (U/S);  very worn    c. 1644

12. Æ  One Penny (U/S);  very corroded   early-nineteenth century

Discussion 

It is clearly not possible to draw far-reaching conclusions regarding so small a coin-sample; however, it may be said that eight coins represent a significant number from a relatively small area. The appearance of a coin of Nero and three Flavian coins serve to strengthen the impression that military activity came to the Middlewich-area at an early point in the Flavian period, and that activity in general remained at a significant level from that point into the second and third centuries. Although there were two fourth-century coins in the present sample, we continue to see that coins from the mid-third century onwards remain relatively poorly represented, although it should be noted that the present excavations did produce the latest coin yet recorded from Middlewich – the issue of Magnentius (AD 351-3). Future research will no doubt find a reason for the continuing paucity of late coins, although it may suggest that the principal focal-points of activity shifted within the area in the later years. Further, the complete absence of any coins later than AD 351 still requires an explanation.

The chronological distribution of the 126 Roman coins now recorded from Middlewich may be shown thus:

Period Number %
I (-AD 41) 11 8.70
II (41-54) - -
III (54-68) 4 3.18
IV (69-96) 22 17.46
V (96-117) 28 22.22
VI (117-138) 13 10.32
VII (138-161) 7 5.56
VIII (161-180) 12 9.52
IX (180-192) 3 2.38
X (192-222) 4 3.18
XI (222-235) 3 2.38
XII (235-259) 5 3.97
XIII (259-275) 7 5.56
XIV (275-294) - -
XV (294-324) 2 1.59
XVI (324-330) - -
XVII (330-346) 4 3.18
XVIII (346-364) 1 0.80
XIX (364-378) - -
XX (378-388) - -
XXI (388-    ) - -