The Bredgar Die
Bredgar Parish Council
Visitors to the British Museums blockbuster “Celts” exhibition, which ran until January this year, might have been surprised to see an unassuming copper object given great prominence of space and labelled as having been found in Bredgar. This is the “Bredgar Die”, discovered in 2013 by local resident and detectorist Jonathan Barrett. Its size belies its significance, for it is no less than the earliest coin die – a punch for stamping out coins - found in Britain, dating to the late Iron Age, around 150 B.C. The face of the die carries a beautiful design of a galloping horse, looking very like the huge chalk “White Horse of Uffington”. No coins exactly matching the pattern are known, which has led some to suggest that it is a forger’s die, but this is just speculation, for it is just as likely that the die was lost before it made any coins. What is certain is that Bredgar has once again – after the trove of rare Roman aurei found in 1957 in Gore Road and the cache of medieval gold nobles found in 1940 in the garden of (what was then) Chantry Cottages – produced a find of exceptional historical importance. Long may Bredgar continue to “punch” above its weight!
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Find Bredgar Parish Council
Bredgar Parish Council Friendly Cottage, Tunstall Road Bredgar, Bredgar, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME9 8EB