St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery

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The Boldre Hoard Campaign hits £30k target

8 February 2017

St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery is delighted to announce that a campaign to raise £30,000 to keep an ancient treasure trove of Roman coins in Lymington has reached its target.

The 1,608 coins from the 3rd Century, known as The Boldre Hoard, is now being purchased from the British Museum in London and will be conserved, interpreted and displayed in our newly refurbished museum in New Street, Lymington, when it re-opens this summer.

 TV presenter and historian Dan Snow, who launched the appeal in October, donating the first £500, said: “I am so excited that the Boldre Hoard will be staying here in the New Forest where it belongs.

“The museum will be able to do it justice thanks to the amazing amount of money raised in this campaign. I can’t wait to see it. Thanks to everyone who got involved!”

Grants of £3,650 from the V&A Purchase Grant Fund, £2,750 from the Headley Trust, and £2,000 from the Aurelius Trust, got the fundraising off to a flying start.

Donations also poured in from local businesses such as Heppenstalls Solicitors, who gave £500, and local groups, such as the New Forest Decorative and Fine Art Society, which donated £250.

Local individuals also gave generously with donations ranging from £10 to £1,500. The campaign was also given a fantastic final boost in January when Richard Beleson, an executive from San Francisco, offered to match public donations up to £7,500.

Mr Beleson, who has a love for England and its history, and is an avid English football fan, dubbed the month-long initiative the Leicester City Challenge, explaining: “If Leicester City can win the Premier League, then certainly the good citizens of Lymington can raise an additional £7,500 by the end of January!”

As the campaign closed on January 31st, the appeal had reached £27,842.20, just a little short of the target. However, Mr Beleson has kindly agreed to increase his donation from £7,500 to £ 9,657.80 to hit our £30,000 target.

Mark Tomlinson, director of St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery, said: “We are tremendously thankful for Mr Beleson’s great generosity. We would also like to thank everybody who has donated to this campaign.

“The coins can now be preserved and displayed as a highlight of our newly refurbished museum.”

The coin hoard was discovered in a field near Warbourne Farm in Boldre, Lymington, in 2014. They were taken to the British Museum in London and officially declared archaeological treasure by a coroner.

The British Museum had been interested in keeping some of the more rare coins but St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery was determined to keep the hoard together, and display them for the enjoyment of local people, visitors and future generations.

There are many theories as to how the coins came to be buried in a pot in the ground. Dan Snow’s favourite theory for how the hoard came to be lost for centuries was that a panicked owner, terrified at impending violence and disorder, buried his fortune – but somehow met his fate before he could dig it back up.

The Boldre Hoard Campaign hits £30k target

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