Police plead with locals to return missing 16th century Cradley hoard coins

181023 - CRADLEY HOARD HERO IMAGE - ITV News Central - West Mercia Police - Ellen Knight
The coins will be similar to these pictured, and could date from as early as 1558 Credit: West Mercia Police

Police are appealing to members of the public to return historic coins from a 16th-century hoard found in Cradley, Herefordshire.

Teaming up with Historic England, West Mercia Police is asking the local community to return coins missing from a large hoard of around 300 gold and silver coins discovered at Church Style Farm on 28 August 2023.

The coins date from between roughly 1558-1649, nearly 500 years ago, covering the reigns of Queen Elizabeth I, James I, and Charles I.

Mark Harrison, head of heritage crime strategy at Historic England, said: "The hoard is of local and national historical importance and we need the public to help us to find the outstanding coins. 

"This will allow the hoard to be examined and catalogued by coin specialists which will help to enhance our understanding of the English Civil War in Herefordshire."

DC Phil Harvey, from West Mercia Police, said: "It’s likely that the hoard contained more than the 300 coins we know about and so we’re asking for your help in finding the outstanding ones.

Police believe there are more coins missing from the hoard Credit: West Mercia Police

"As part of the excitement of the discovery, I understand that some of the local community may have accepted coins from the hoard as mementos or souvenirs.

"We believe that the coins were given away in good faith and would appeal to anyone who was given any as a keepsake to get in touch.

"I can reassure anyone who may have a coin that they are not in any trouble, we simply want to get them back into the right hands as they form an important part of our local and national history."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know.