The Society's seal and three photographs

Success with our appeal to buy the Dinnington Hoard!

The Dinnington Hoard has arrived in Newcastle after SANT's successful efforts to raise £20,050. We are very grateful to the V & A Purchase Grant Fund, the Headley Museums Archaeological Acquisition Fund and individual members of SANT for their generous contributions towards the purchase price.

An exhibition of SANT's recent purchases through the Treasure Act is being planned for the GNM: Hancock in the near future. This will give SANT members and the public a chance to see what SANT has retained for the North East of England.


The Dinnington Hoard was found when a pond was being dug on private property at Dinnington, 9 miles north of Newcastle upon Tyne. The Hoard consists of one aureus of Vitellius (AD 69) and six silver denarii dating from 32-31 BC to AD 81-96. The aureus is in remarkably good condition. No trace was found of a container and this suggests the coins were in a leather or cloth bag.
The date of the coins implies that the Hoard was dropped or deposited around the time of the Agricolan advance into Scotland.  Dinnington lies in a direct line north from the ford crossing the River Tyne near the Hadrianic fort of Benwell. This was the first safe crossing place of the river before the Roman bridge (Pons Aelius) was built at Newcastle upon Tyne and it is presumed that this ford was used during Agricola’s sorties north.

The gold aureus is a rare issue. Vitellius was emperor for only eight months and, unusually, the coin depicts Vitellius’s children on the reverse. Gold coins of Roman date are very rare finds in the Military Zone . They were also used to pay bonuses to soldiers on the accession of a new emperor, in this case possibly the accession of Domitian.
As we are the only organisation in the region in a position to buy items which have been declared Treasure, the Hoard would almost certainly have left the North East if we had been unable to raise the purchase price of  £20,050.



In the future, don’t forget your past