Hackinsall Hoard

On the 3rd. of September 1926 Jack (John) Parkinson, Head Greenkeeper of Knott End Golf Club, with one of his colleagues, a lad called Baines, was digging in a sandpit close to Hackinsall Hall Farm where his parents lived (See the lower map on Home Page). A flat stone, about 15 inches square, was encountered, and beneath it a kind of leather bag. The bag was taken to Jack's home in Wyre View and the contents, which turned out to be several hundred Roman coins, tipped out on to the dining table for examination.
Subsequent events are unclear and the current whereabouts of the coins is very diverse. They were distributed amongst various museums and galleries, and some remained in private hands. It is possible that many have been lost.

It has been estimated by Professor D.C.A. Shotter of Lancaster University that the dating and condition of the coins suggests that they were buried not long after 273 AD. The coin illustrated has been identified by Prof. Shotter as an Antoninianus, struck in 270 AD. to commemmorate the deified Emperor Claudius II. The reverse (see drawing) shows an altar with the legend 'Consecratio' (Consecrated) whilst the obverse read 'Divo Claudio' (to the deified Claudius). This coin is still in the possession of Gordon Heald, grandson of Jack Parkinson.

The find raises fascinating questions. Who in Hackinsall at the end of the 3rd. century was in possession of so much cash, and why? Could there have been a substantial establishment of some sort at Hackinsall on a site ideally suited for it, a slightly raised platform of dry ground sheltered and concealed on three sides by high ground, with a close link to the adjacent estuary? Does the money represent life savings or did someone suddenly find it necessary to liquidate their assets and hide the proceeds in troubled times, due perhaps to a breakdown in law and order caused by internal feuding in the Empire or raiding from the sea?

All we shall ever know is that whoever it was who buried this money, and for whatever reason, they never returned to retrieve it.