The Cheshire Hoards

The Cheshire Hoards

The Malpas Hoard and Knutsford Hoard are both amazing Roman hoards that have been discovered in Cheshire by metal-detectorists, and reported to archaeologists through the Portable Antiquities Scheme.

This is part of the Regional Archaeology collection.

Finds like this help us explore life in this region nearly 2000 years ago.

The Malpas Hoard was discovered during a metal detecting rally near the parish of Malpas in 2014.  Rallies bring metal-detectorists together for a day to detect together over several fields. The finds were then taken to the Grosvenor Museum, Chester, where they were handed in to the Portable Antiquities Scheme Finds Liaison Officer and were reported to the coroner as Treasure.

The Knutsford Hoard was found in 2012 by Alan Bates who immediately called Finds Liaison Officer Vanessa Oakden, and a team of archaeologists from the Museum of Liverpool worked with Alan to recover and record the hoard, which had been partially ploughed-out and was spread across the field.

The Poole Hoard was found in 2016. It is a very large group of coins, more than 1500! Fragments of pottery were also found in the area, probably the remains of a contained for the hoard which has been damaged by modern ploughing. The coins had also been dispersed but were all made AD270-335, indicating they are most likely to form a group buried together.

The Portable Antiquities Scheme

Burial of the hoards

We don't know exactly who buried the hoards, but they must have been fairly wealthy individuals who had amassed these coins and jewellery items. They would have been buried for safekeeping, possibly at a time of turmoil.

The ultimate mystery of any hoard is why the owner never returned to collect them. And we can never be certain of the reason. We do, however know that both the Malpas and Knutsford Hoards were buried at times of political instability and uncertainty.

Acquisition and conservation

The KnutsfordMalpas and Poole Hoards have been acquired in partnership between the Museum of Liverpool and Congleton Museum to be preserved and displayed to the public of the north west.  This has been made possible through a generous grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Following their return to the north west the hoards have undergone conservation work, specialist identification and analysis, and have been prepared for display.

Heritage Lottery Fund logo

Congleton Museum logo

Portable Antiquities Scheme logo