Museum launches fund-raising campaign to secure rare Saxon gold coin found at East Grafton
The coin was struck in what is today France, between about AD 655 and AD 675. The coin is being auctioned early in December with an estimate of up to £12,000.
The coin dates from the time of the beginnings of Christianity in Wiltshire - just after the burial of King Raedwald at Sutton Hoo and many of the objects found in the Staffordshire hoard.
This remarkable find sheds new light onto the history of the vale of Pewsey in the Saxon period. East Grafton was part of the parish of Bedwyn until medieval times. There are a number of pagan Saxon cemeteries nearby and there was an early Saxon Royal manor at the Iron Age hill fort at Chisbury, just to the north of Great Bedwyn.
Later in the Saxon period, Great Bedwyn itself became the more important centre with a Royal Manor and a notable Minster church. Bedwyn was held by King Alfred and it also had a Saxon mint in the time of King Edward the Confessor - soon after 1000 AD.
Bedwyn remained a significant centre until the focus moved to Marlborough when it was chosen as the site for the Norman castle.
The Museum will be seeking grant aid money to help buy the coin, but still needs to raise matching funds.
You can donate using the Paypal button on the Museum's website or by sending a cheque made payable to 'WANHS Ltd' to the Museum - 41 Long Street, Devizes, SN10 1NS.
If the Museum raises more money than necessary, they would like to use the excess to display the coin and buy other important items. If they are unsuccessful at the auction, the Museum would like to use the money raised to add to their collections, but you can say if you want your donation returned if they do not buy the coin.