Tresco Artefacts Shine Light On Sixteenth Century Crime

The curator of the Isles of Scilly museum is urging people who have interesting objects they’ve found around the islands to take them to her team for evaluation.

And Amanda Martin says a recent discovery has turned out to be more interesting than the finder first thought.

A visitor uncovered three coins over the course of a week near Cromwell’s Castle. The man became intrigued by the hill, backing onto Cromwell’s Castle, that he could see from his tent opposite on Bryher campsite.

After visiting the site several times over a two-day period, he found the badly deteriorated coins on the surface of the ground.

The visitor took them to the museum, where staff cleaned them up using conservation equipment they were trained in during the spring.

The find appeared to be money from the reign of Edward VI, which started in 1547. Amanda felt the coins were poor quality and on further investigation, found that they were fakes, but from that period.

Amanda hopes that, because they are not high-value metal coins, she’ll be able to hold onto them and put them on display along with a similar haul, this time of real coins, from that site in 1946.

Amanda is hoping to repatriate the earlier haul of nine coins back to the island and says she’ll be able to compare and contrast them with the newer discoveries.

Amanda says the discovery shows how important it is that people who find interesting items take them to the museum.

She says the historical research that follows such a find tells us much more about the period than we realise, in this case giving an insight into the mind of a sixteenth century coin forger.