In 2012 a hoard of 43 medieval silver pennies was discovered by a metal detectorist near to Kirk Ireton. The coins were in circulation during the 1260s and were found all together, suggesting they had been in a purse together. Were they hidden for safe keeping or simply dropped? If the latter, it would have been disasterous to have lost such a large amount of money!
All of the pennies were ‘voided, long-cross’ pennies from the reign of Henry III. At least one of the coins seems to have been counterfeit.
All of the official silver pennies consist of at least 90% fine metal, matching the coinage standards of the period. Several have suffered damage in the ground are now in fragmentary form. It is possible to piece together a couple of near-complete coins from the fragments, so whilst at least 43 coins have been identified there may have been more originally.
The penny was the only coin in regular production and use in England for most of the 13th century. Lesser coins, such as halfpennies and farthings, were created by literrally cutting a penny into halves or quarters. The cross design on the reverse of the coins could act as an easy guide on where to cut a coin.