Medieval coin from 13th century France is declared to be treasure

The piedfort coin found in Darrington.
The piedfort coin found in Darrington.

A coin found in Pontefract, dating back to 13th century France, has been declared as treasure.

An amateur metal detector enthusiast found the silver piedfort coin in Darrington on December 28, 2015.

A treasure inquest at Wakefield Coroners’ Court on Monday heard that Ray Green found the coin whilst searching a ploughed field.

Barrie Cook, from the British Museum, studied the coin and confirmed it was not used as currency and that it can be traced between the years of 1241-1279.

A statement from Mr Cook, read aloud to the court, said: “I have examined the object and it is a medieval piedfort. The coin dates from the early to mid-13th century.

“Piedfort’s are unsual objects and their actual purpose has never been established. One potential use was that they were made for use of important officials.

“The coin weighed 2.6 grams - a usual piedfort weighs one gram. There are no records of piedforts being found in a hoard. No examples of the coinage from which this piedfort derives have, to my knowledge, been found in England.”

Single precious coins do not usually constitute treasure under the Treasure Act 1996, but it was noted that this coin contained “sufficiently high level” of silver.

Coroner David Hinchliff summarised: “It very much looks as though Dr Cook is saying that this probably should be regarded as treasure. Therefore, I will follow his guidance and regard this find as treasure