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Muckleford Treasure Trove

Within the parish of Bradford Peverell is the hamlet and manor of Muckleford, which in 1935 comprised two farms: Higher and Lower Muckleford. The farm-house at Lower Muckleford owned then by Mr Lewis Marsh is interesting being formerly a ‘cell’ dependent on the Cistercian Abbey of Tyrone in Normandy, which was endowed by the De Port family who were lords of the manor during the reigns of Henry I and Stephen (1100-1154.)

In 1935 a very valuable ‘find’ was unearthed when some calves disturbed the soil on Higher Muckleford farm, which was then owned my Mr Chell. The calves’ actions exposed a hoard of gold-coins. Altogether there were over 100 coins consisting mainly of “units” but there were several “half-units” and a few “quarter-units”. These had been minted at various times during the reigns of James I and Charles I (1603-1649). The coins had been packed into a “stocking-purse” that had long since decayed but had been fastened at the neck by silver “four-wire” and a plain purse ring, which we understand Mr Chell later occasionally wore as a finger ring.

At an inquest held at Dorchester on this treasure trove Mr Chell was allowed its full value from the British Museum where most of the coins are but some were presented by Mr Chell to the Dorset County Museum.

It is likely the coins were hidden during the Civil War (1642-1649), probably by a Royalist prevented from returning to recover his treasure through fear of being captured by Parliamentarian soldiers.

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